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 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.
||3 litre pot|
||Early summer, fruit in autumn|
||any good garden soil|