Amur Mountain-ash - Sorbus amurensis
Family Rosaceae - Rose Family; Fruit Trees

A compact tree's delicate, fern-like foliage makes an ideal ornamental for gardens and specimens.
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Amur Mountain-ash foliage
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The showy white flowers appear in early summer, and the abundant orange fruit appear in summer, persisting through winter. Fruit provides palatable browse for many animals and birds, but is not suitable for human consumption, except, perhaps for various folk remedies; the plant is not toxic.

The Sorbus genus covers about 190 different species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found mainly in northern temperate regions, in woodland, on hills, mountains and on scree. Sorbus species and cultivars are prized for their ornamental qualities. Their leaves are decorative, and may be either simple or pinnate, and often color well in autumn. Their flowers are a second plus point. They grow as terminal corymbs of small, white or rarely pink flowers in spring and early summer. These are followed by round or oval berries that may be white, yellow, orange, red or brown.

The mountain ash and related species are sometimes referred to in folklore as "Rowan" trees, but this use has almost disappeared from the modern lexicon. The rowans were thought by the Celts and other primitive peoples of The British Isles to have magical properties.

"Mountain ash, 1804, from rowan-tree, rountree (1548), northern English and Scottish, from a Scandinavian source (cf. O.N. reynir, Swed. Ronn "the rowan"), ultimately from the root of red, in reference to the berries. The rowan "was the tree most often credited with protective magical powers against all effects of witchcraft, not merely in Celtic areas but throughout Britain." -- Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore

Amur Mountain-ash
Showy summer flowers are white to yellow. Fruit is an elongated pod, winter persistent and does not create a litter problem.  Grows best in full sun, in well-drained soil, drought tolerant in reasonable soil. Tolerates clay; loam; sand; acidic; occasionally wet; alkaline.

American Mountain-ash was used extensively by Native Americans for various purposes (5):

  • Algonquin, Quebec, Drug (Cold Remedy); Infusion of inner bark taken for colds.
  • Algonquin, Tete-de-Boule Drug (Psychological Aid); Buds and bark fibers boiled and used for depression.
  • Iroquois Drug (Gastrointestinal Aid); Fruit used to facilitate digestion.
  • Malecite Drug (Analgesic); Infusion of bark used for pain after childbirth.
  • Micmac Drug (Gastrointestinal Aid); Infusion of root taken for colic.
  • Ojibwa Drug (Venereal Aid); Infusion of root bark taken for gonorrhea.
  • Penobscot Drug (Emetic); Plant used as an emetic.
  • Algonquin, Quebec Food (Fruit); Fruit used for food.
  • Ojibwa Fiber (Canoe Material); Wood used to make ribs for canoes, snowshoe frames.
References:
1. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Sorbus amurensis Koehne (GRIN)
2. USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) Sorbus pohuashanensis (Hance) Hedl.
3. efloras.org  Flora of China
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Family Rosaceae - Rose Family; Fruit Trees
Containing Hawthorns, Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plums, Peach, Almond, Mountain-Ash and Whitebeam. Rosaceae is a large family of plants with about 3,000 species in ~100 genera. Crabapple and other fruit trees provide some of our most outstanding flowering ornamentals. Tree Encyclopedia | Tree Index | Rosaceae Index
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