Sorbus aucuparia
Common name: 
European Mountain Ash
SOR-bus aw-ku-PAH-ree-a
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 20-40 ft (6-12 m), spread 2/3's of this, upright oval in youth, gracefully open at maturity.  Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 13-23 cm long, 9-15(19) leaflets, each 2-6.5 cm long, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, tip acute to obtuse, margin serrate, but frequently entire in the lower third.  Terminal buds, woolly, 13 mm long, lateral buds have several scales.  Fruit (6-9 mm diam.) yellow to red, in showy clusters.
  • Sun to part shade, prefers acid soils.  Does not do well in compacted soils and polluted atmospheres.  High summer temperatures appear to limit growth.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (2) 3      Native range from Europe to western Asia and Siberia.  It one of the few introduced trees to become established in southern Alaska and grow in the wild (Viereck and Little, 1972).
  • Several cultivars are marketed, some may actually be hybrids; the more common ones include:
    • ‘Beissneri’  -  leaflets deeply toothed, originated in Germany about 1890.
    • ‘Black Hawk’  -  narrow tree, fruit large and orange, resists sun-scald, introduced in the 1960s.
    • Cardinal Royal™ ('Michred')  -  vigorous, upright habit, bright red fruit, developed at Michigan State Univ.
    • ‘Rossica’  -  uniform shape, bright red fruit, from Kiev, introduced about 1898. However, what is sold as ‘Rossica’ today is more likely ‘Rossica Major’ (Jacobson, 1996).
  • aucuparia: from the Latin, aucupor, to go bird-catching, a reference to the use of the mucilaginous fruit by fowlers (bird catchers) in making birdlime, which is any viscid, adhesive substance spread on a branch or twig, upon which a bird may land and be caught.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: east of McNary dorm, near the parking lot.
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  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flower cluster and leaves

    flower cluster and leaves

  • flower cluster

    flower cluster

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    plant habit

  • plant habit, summer fruiting

    plant habit, summer fruiting

  • plant habit, summer fruiting

    plant habit, summer fruiting

  • foliage and fruit

    foliage and fruit

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

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  • leaf, underside

    leaf, underside

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    bud, summer

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

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    leaf, fall

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    winter twigs, buds

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    trunk, bark