Sorbus carmesina



Habitat: mountain slopes


Soil: good garden soil


Height: 5 m


Flowering: early summer, fruit in autumn


Width: 4.0 m

  sorbus_pseudohupehensis3.jpg   sorbus_pseudohupehensis2.jpg   sorbus_pseudohupehensis5.jpg

  Sorbus carmesina fruit   Sorbus carmesina   The pink fruit of Sorbus carmesina

This genus includes the rowans (mountain ash) and whitebeams, and this present group consists of the rowans, technically known as the Aucuparia section. These are small, graceful trees or shrubs with attractive foliage, which in the rowans is usually pinnate, toothed or lobed and provides good autumn colour. In spring or early summer they produce dense corymbs of frothy white or pinkish flowers, which are followed by fruit varying in colour depending on the species. Many species are apomictic, i.e. self-fertile, and so seedlings are clones of the parent. For this reason there are many species, groups of which can be similar to one another.

Sorbus carmesina used to be known as the pink-berried form of Sorbus hupehensis, also known as var. obtusa or as named varieties 'Rosea' or 'Pink Pagoda', and then it was named S. pseudohupehensis. Now this collection has been named Sorbus carmesina. It has bluish green pinnate leaves, and large clusters of rich pink fruit, which are always wonderful, and in the best years are better than that, remaining while the leaves turn yellow, orange, red.
5 litre pot £20.00

Sorbus Aucuparia section - rowans - some other suggestions
IMH_7547.jpg Sorbus bulleyana is one of several newly named species, which would previously have been included in Sorbus hupehensis, as a pink-fruited variety. These are all apomictic, which means that they come true from seed. It is a fine small tree, with greyish green leaves, many rounded leaflets making up each leaf. The large clusters of fruit are rich pink, quite striking.
sorbus_cashmiriana2.jpg Sorbus cashmiriana is from the Himalayas. With elegant, dark green pinnate foliage, white or pink flowers and shiny white berries.
sorbus_cashmiriana2.jpg Sorbus aff. cashmiriana has been grown from seed provided by Ness Gardens, where the species was identified as being like Sorbus cashmiriana, but not exactly the same. So it is a new species, but not yet named. It is a large shrub or small tree, with dark green pinnate foliage, white or pink flowers and large white fruit.
sorbus_discolores_sect.jpg Sorbus discolores sect. is an excellent rowan, one of those that is still waiting to be named. It is a good small tree for the garden at all time, but it is particularly good in Autumn, when the fruit ripen to bright pink, looking wonderful against the foliage, which becomes golden and then orange.
sorbus_eburnea.jpg Sorbus eburnea was collected near Kanding in the 1930s by a Swede called Harry Smith, and it was identified as a new species and named by Hugh McAllister in 2005. It is attractive in the garden in the autumn, when it has large clusters of white fruit, which are shown off particularly well because the leaves fall relatively early. As with most white-fruited rowans, the fruit last well, as birds take red ones first. But it is also lovely when just showing its foliage, with about 13 pairs of slightly glossy, deep green leaflets making up each leaf. Growth is quite slow, and it will take a very long time before it becomes more than a small tree.
sorbus_forrestii2.jpg Sorbus forrestii is named after George Forrest, the great Scottish plant hunter, and for that reason alone would be a desirable small tree. But its large white berries, combined with the foliage turning red in autumn, would make it a winner under any name.
invisible.gif Sorbus frutescens is a splendid large shrub, collected by Joseph Rock. It has finely divided pinnate leaves, with ten pairs of leaflets, which turn from green to orange and then red in autumn, when it also has clusters of quite large, white fruit, marked red at the bottom.
sorbus_fruticosa.jpg Sorbus fruticosa is an easy and attractive small rowan, although it does not seem to be widely known. It is a very small tree, so far with us not growing high, but branching and occasionally suckering, so that it makes a small thicket. It has lots of white fruit, first produced while the plants are still young.
sorbus_glabriuscula2.jpg Sorbus glabriuscula was once described as the white-berried form of Sorbus hupehensis. It is an excellent small tree for a small (or large) garden. It has rather broader, more rounded leaflets than most other rowans, and with an unusual slightly greyish green colour. It has large clusters of small fruit, which normally remain long after the leaves have fallen. This takes a long time, as they change from green to yellow to orange, and in a good year to red as well.
invisible.gif Sorbus 'Gresgarth' came from the garden of designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd, and is particularly fine in autumn, when the foliage turns to a flaming red colour.
invisible.gif Sorbus helenae is a vigorous shrub or small tree with bold, pinnate leaves with five pairs of leaflets on quite thick stems. In autumn it has prominent, flat-topped clusters of large, white fruit. It is a rarity, collected years ago from near the top of the famour Mount Omei (Emei Shan) in Sichuan.
sorbus_hughmcallisteri.jpg Sorbus hughmcallisteri was originally collected by a joint Chinese-British expedition, and was given the name Sorbus apiculata. That was subsequently found to be invalid (the name had already been used for something else), so it was renamed after Hugh McAllister (McAllisteri had also already been used), the expert on rowans, and author of the book on the subject. It is a fine species, at its best in the autumn, when the white fruit gleam against the bright red foliage.
invisible.gif Sorbus khumbuensis is eventually quite a large rowan, but it doesn't grow too quickly. It has 10 pairs of pointed, narrow leaflets on each leaf. It has big clusters of fruit which at first ripen red, and then change to pink and then to white, flushed pink. As this is taking place the foliage changes from green to dark red, almost maroon. The fruit remain for a long time, long after the leaves have fallen.
sorbus_koehniana2.jpg Sorbus koehniana this Chinese species has been described as a medium size shrub and as a small tree. Either way, it is very beautiful, with twenty or thirty small leaflets on each leaf and clusters of white fruit, so heavy that their branches arch gracefully downwards.
IMH_7535.jpg Sorbus maculata is a new species, distinguished by having white fruit that have many deep purple spots. It was provisionally given the name Sorbus maculata, but that may well be changed before the description of the species is officially published,
invisible.gif Sorbus matsumurana is a medium sized tree or large shrub from Japan, with attractive mottled bark. The leaves, which typically have five pairs of leaflets, go yellow in autumn, when they contrast well with the large numbers of bright red fruit, which normally last well on the tree into the winter.
IMH_7538.jpg Sorbus microphylla agg. is a Chinese species, still waiting to be named. It is very beautiful, with twenty or thirty small leaflets on each leaf, changing to deep red in autumn, when there are clusters of fruit that are white when they are fully ripe, but changing from red to pink to white as they mature.
sorbus_muliensis.jpg Sorbus muliensis is relatively quickly growing (for a rowan), adding 30 cm or more in a year, and eventually becoming a small tree. It was collected by George Forrest in Muli, in the Chinese province of Sichuan. It has about 7 pairs of serrated leaflets on each leaf, the very slightly greyish green of which is offset by the red-brown stems and the big clusters of rich deep pink, almost red, fruit.
sorbus_olivacea.jpg Sorbus olivacea is the species that was selected for planting at the entrance to Ness Botanic Garden, where the genus was studied for many years. That says a lot for its excellent qualities. It has dusky green leaves, not really olive green, with about 13 leaflets, and the fruit are really abundant, rosy pink. And the leaves go really bright red in autumn.
IMH_7525.jpg Sorbus parvifructa is a recently named species, originating in SE Xizang (Tibet). It is very neat and compact, and has finely divided leves with about 11 pairs of leaflets. Although the name means small fruit, they are not that small, and there are large clusters of the. They are almost white, with some pink colouring, and look lovely against the orange autumn foliage.
sorbus_poteriifolia.jpg Sorbus poteriifolia is really tiny, even with time only spreading sideways a little, and not becoming significantly taller. We have a plant no more than 15 cm high after 20 years. It is in all other respects like othe rowans, with pinnate leaves, a good slightly glossy gree, not very significant white flowers, and pale pink fruit nestling amongst the foliage.
sorbus_sdr82.jpg Sorbus pseudovilmorinii has highly divided leaves with about 13 pairs of narrow, pointed leaflets, quite deep green, but turning brilliant red in autumn. At that time the fruit, which are borne abundantly, change from deep red to reddish pink. They are not eaten quickly by birds, so typically provide colour until December, when they are greatly appreciated - in our garden particularly by waxwings.
sorbus_reducta_fruit.jpg Sorbus reducta is dwarf enough to be accommodated in a rock garden. It forms a neat little shrub with just a few stems, typical rowan flowers, and berries that start red, but change to pink as they ripen.
invisible.gif Sorbus aff. rehderiana has quite glossy deep green leaves with about 8 pairs of leaflets, turning bright red in autumn. At that time the fruit, which are usually produced in abundance, change from red to rich pink, and in some specimens then become paler, even white. A group of them makes a wonderful sight; a mountain side of them is even better!
IMH_7518.jpg Sorbus rosea is a newly described species, which is a shrub, about as wide as it is high, but what makes it stand out as a really excellent plant is the fruit, which are large, as big as those of Sorbus cashmiriana, but rich, rosy pink. Once it becomes more widely available, it may become one of the most loved species in this genus.
invisible.gif Sorbus rubescens is a newly described species with fine pinnate foliage, colouring very well in autumn.
sorbus_rushforthii_kr5789.jpg Sorbus rushforthii is one of the recently described species, whoe leaves typically have eight pairs of pointed, fresh green leaflets on a reddish central stem. We have not yet seen it in fruit, but its autumn colour is very likely to be bright red.
invisible.gif Sorbus sambucifolia is called the Siberian mountain ash, although its wild distribution ranges from the Aleutian Islands to Siberia and down to Japan. It has only five or six pairs of leaflets on each leaf, clusters of rather few but relatively large white flowers, and quite large, globular, red fruit.
IMH_6890.jpg Sorbus SDR7808 has been grown from seed from what appeared to be the only rowan tree in the entire valley. It was clearly visible from a distance, with a mass of pink fruit, and getting near enough to photograph it was quite an achievement. It also has lovely leaves, with many small leaflets, and we have yet to see whether they will turn bright red, but it is highly likely. It is somewhat like Sorbus vilmorinii, but it is quite likely that it is a distinct species.
IMH_9720.jpg Sorbus SDR7963 is a species that hasn't yet been identified, but has good red autumn colour and clusters of white fruit.
IMH_7528.jpg Sorbus 'Showa' is a wonderful rowan species, not yet named, so going under the name 'Showa', as it came originally from the Showa La pass. It is a good small tree for the garden at all times, but in Autumn it is outstanding. The fruit are bright pink, and set against the golden foliage, becoming more orange, they are magnificent.
sorbus_tenuis_hs12732.jpg Sorbus tenuis is one of several species collected near Kanding by the Swedish Harry Smith in the 1930s, and recently identified as a new species and named by Hugh McAllister. It is quite a compact plant, with about 11 pairs of small leaflets on each leaf, turning bright red in autumn.
sorbus_vilmorinii_early.jpg Sorbus vilmorinii is one of the best small trees for the garden. It has lovely leaves, with many small leaflets, but it is Autumn that it is really wonderful. The fruit start off being red, but then they change to pink. At the same time, or in some years a little later, the leaves change to brilliant red. It is difficult to believe that it is the same tree.
sorbus_aff_filipes_kr5095.jpg Sorbus cf. vilmorinii is an elegant, medium-sized rowan, distinguished from most species by having pink flowers instead of white. The leaves are highly divided into about 13 pairs of rounded, toothed leaflets, mid green and turning bright red in autumn. This collection, from the Doshong La, appears to be the same species as KR5100, but KR5100A is something completely different.
IMH_7544.jpg Sorbus aff. vilmorinii is a collection by Keith Rushforth of a species that is similar to Sorbus vilmorinii, but differs in various ways. It has leaves divided into about 12 pairs of leaflets, glossy green on red stems. In Autumn the clusters of fruit change from red to pink, at almost the same time as the leaves change from green to fiery red.