Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) are also known as mountain ash. They are hardy trees which can grow to up to 15 meters in height. They are found throughout the British Isles, from sea-level to over 900 m altitude - higher than any other British tree species. They are not closely related to the ash despite their similar leaf shape.

  • Leaves are comprised of 5-8 pairs of leaflets plus one leaflet at the end. These are known as 'pinnate' leaves
  • Flowers are creamy white, held in dense clusters, usually seen May – June
  • Fruits are orangey-red and borne in clusters, appearing August – September
  • Bark is smooth and silvery-grey in colour. In winter look for buds which are hairy all over

Rowan are a tree surrounded by mythology: In folklore, thought to protect against witchcraft and enchantment. Their berries are edible and full of vitamin C, but taste sour. Individual trees can live to 200 years old.

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Rowan 1 Rowan 2 Rowan 3 Rowan 4
Rowan 6 Rowan 6 Rowan 7 Rowan 8



 Illustration (c) Chris Shields

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