The main feature of Sorbus wardii is undoubtedly the large grey-green leaves, which give the tree an elegant presence throughout the spring and summer. The leaves take on golden hues in the autumn.
Clusters of white flowers are borne in late spring, somewhat larger than other Whitebeams, followed by persistent yellow-orange berries.
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Sorbus wardii does best in full sun. Once established it is fairly tolerant of drought conditions.
Sorbus wardii is named after Frank Kingdon-Ward, an English botanist who made numerious expeditions to Tibet, China, and India in the first half of the 20th century. It was discovered in the Himalayas of northern Burma. It is sometimes considered to be a form of Sorbus thibetica, the Tibetan Whitebeam (which Kingdon-Ward also collected on his travels), rather than a species in its own right, but the golden berries are rather different from the yellow-brown berries of Sorbus thibetica.
We list more than 50 Sorbus (rowan and whitebeam) trees. Choosing can be difficult! Our article explaining the different berry and leaf colours might help narrow down the selection.