Sorbus aucuparia Rosaceae
European Mountain Ash SOR-bus aw-ku-PAH-ree-a
- 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 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 birdline, 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.