General: Medium to tall shrub, 1-5 m tall; stems several, erect to spreading, freely branched, reddish-brown to yellowish; winter buds and young growth sticky, somewhat white- or grey-hairy.
Leaves: Alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound; leaflets (7) 9 to 13, oblong-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 2-8 cm long, usually short-tapering to a sharp-pointed tip, smooth, finely saw-toothed almost to the base.
Flowers: Inflorescence a flat-topped to somewhat rounded, branched cluster of numerous (70 to 200 or more) small flowers, the branches more or less white-hairy; corollas white to cream, the petals 5, oval, 4-6 mm long; calyces white-hairy, 5-lobed, the lobes triangular; ovaries inferior; stamens 15-20.
Fruits: Berry-like pomes (like miniature apples), nearly globe-shaped, 7-10 mm long, orange to scarlet, not glaucous, 2- to 5-chambered; seeds 1 or 2 per chamber.
Notes: Two varieties occur in BC:
1. Leaflets often 13; stipules usually shed before end of blooming; plants from E of Coast-Cascade Mountains................ var. scopulina
1. Leaflets rarely more than 11; stipules persistent until after blooming; plants from W slope of Cascade Mountains..................... var. cascadensis (G.N Jones) C.L. Hitchc.
1. Plants becoming trees over 5 m tall; leaflets usually more than 13, winter buds covered with long soft-hairy grey hairs; styles 2 or 3...........................S. aucuparia
1. Plants shrubby, usually less than 5 m tall; leaflets rarely as many as 13, winter buds not covered with long soft grey hairs; styles 3 to 5.
2. Winter buds rusty-hairy; calyces smooth on outside; leaflets blunt or rounded at the tip, toothed for not more than 3/4 of their length; styles 4 or 5, fruit red, glaucous...............S. sitchensis
2. Winter buds sticky, sparsely white-hairy; calyces hairy on outside; leaflets sharp-pointed at tip, toothed for most of their length; styles 3 or 4; fruit orange, not glaucous................S. scopulina
Source: Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Habitat / Range
Mesic to moist glades, streambanks, forest edges and open forests in the montane and subalpine zones; frequent throughout BC, except rare W of Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, E to AB and S to ND, WY, NM and N CA.
A shade-tolerant/intolerant to very shade-intolerant, montane to subalpine, Western North American deciduous shrub distributed in the Cordilleran region, marginally in the Pacific and Central regions. Occurs in continental boreal and wet cool temperate climates on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-medium soils; its occurrence increases with increasing continentality. Common but scattered in open-canopy, coniferous forests on watershedding sites; persists in clearings. Characteristic of Mor humus forms.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2023-11-29 7:02:01 AM
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