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 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.
||2 litre pot|
||Early summer, fruit in autumn|
||any good garden soil|