Sorbus aucuparia L.
European mountain-ash (rowan)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Mike Edley     (Photo ID #8744)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Sorbus aucuparia
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend


This is a deciduous species of small tree that introduced from Eurasia.

Species Information

Small tree, 5-15 m tall; branches ascending to spreading, greyish; winter buds and young growth densely greyish-soft-hairy.
Alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound; leaflets 11 to 15 (17), oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 2-6 cm long, sharp-pointed at the tip, mostly smooth, saw-toothed almost to the base.
Inflorescence a flat-topped, branched cluster of numerous (75 or more) small flowers, the branches more or less white-hairy; corollas white, the petals 5, nearly circular, 3-4 mm long; calyces hairy, 5-lobed, the lobes triangular; ovaries inferior; stamens 15-20.
Berry-like pomes (like miniature apples), globe-shaped, 9-11 mm wide, scarlet, not glaucous, 2- to 5-chambered; seeds 1 or 2 per chamber.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Orange
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Sorbus aucuparia

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
745 11 1500
Slope Gradient (%)
27 0 135

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

192 4 292
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 1 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CDF(2), CWH(8), ESSF(5), ICH(1), PP(1), SBS(2)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to moist, open forests, fields and roadsides in the lowland zone; frequent in SW BC, rare northward along the coast; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Pyrus aucuparia (L.) Gaertn.
Sorbus aucuparia var. xanthocarpa Hartwig & Rümpler

Taxonomic Notes

Sorbus aucuparia is considered an emerging invasive species in the Vancouver region by the Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant Council (2009). An emerging invasive is defined by them as: currently found in isolated, sparse populations but are rapidly expanding their range within the region. It is already well-established in the Fraser Delta.