Sorbus helenae

  • Sorbus helenae berries
  • Sorbus helenae autumn leaves
  • Height 10 years: 3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • Growth habit: Upright
  • Leaf colour - autumn: Orange / Red
  • Fruit colour: White

Sorbus helenae is one of the rarer rowan species, its leaves are larger than other rowans, but with fewer leaflets, giving it a distinctly different appearance. 

Dense clusters of white flowers appear in early summer, and are followed by clusters of pink-speckled white fruitlets. The size of the flower clusters tends to be larger than other rowan species.

The leaves also take on orange and red hues in the autumn.

Unusually for a rowan, Sorbus helenae also has some winter interest, with pink-tipped buds showing against the bare branches.

Sorbus helenae originates from China and was discovered in the early 20th century by the plant explorer Ernest Wilson, who named the species after his daughter.

Sorbus helenae trees for sale

Height in 10 years
Price inc. VAT
2-year Sorbus helenae tree - in a 12L pot
3m-5m tall after 10 years
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Sorbus helenae characteristics


  • Attractive features: Attractive fruit Autumn foliage colour
  • Height 10 years: 3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • Growth habit: Upright
  • Growth rate: Average
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Site conditions: Coastal site Occasional drought Free-draining site Air pollution
  • Sunlight: Prefers full sun
  • Useful for: Small spaces
  • Pruning: Light prune
  • Disease resistance: Good
  • Gardening skill: Suitable for beginners


  • Country of origin: China
  • Flowering month: May
  • Flower colour: White
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Leaf colour - young: Green
  • Leaf colour - autumn: Orange / Red
  • Fruit colour: White
  • Annual cycle: Deciduous


  • Fruit persistence: Persistent
  • Wildlife: Attractive to birds

How to choose a Rowan or Whitebeam tree

We have a very wide range of Sorbus (rowan and whitebeam) trees. Choosing can be difficult! Our article explaining the different berry and leaf colours might help narrow down the selection.

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