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Sorbus acupariaRowan

By Leanne Downs12 July 2019

The Rowan Tree, also known as the Mountain Ash or Sorbus acuparia, is commonly found throughout the United Kingdom and is one of our native species. It’s berries are most often used to make a sweet jelly.

Where to find Rowan Trees

Rowan Trees can be found throughout the United Kingdom, although they grow in the wild more commonly in the North and West. It’s other name ‘Mountain Ash’ relates to its tendency to grow naturally at higher altitudes. In the South it is more commonly found planted in parks and gardens, though it can be found in mixed woodland.

A rowan tree growing in a mixed woodland in Kent | These beautiful red berries make great jellies and jams

How to identify Rowan Trees

The Rowan Tree is more easily recognised in the later summer and Autumn, due to its bright red-orange berries which grow prettily in small clusters and its leaves which turn yellow-orange. It’s leaves are long and feather shaped and grow in 4-8 pairs with sit slightly alternated along a vein, with a single leaf at the end. They are green, with a grey-green underside covered in fine silvery hairs.

When in flower, it has clusters of small pale white-yellow and five-petaled flowers, it’s bark grows smooth and silvery grey in colour.

Mountain Ash is a delicate and pretty tree, popularly planted on streets around the UK

Uses for Rowan Trees

Wood from Rowan Trees is not widely used as although hard it is not durable, so it is often limited to use in making furniture, handles for tools and in crafts.

Rowan Berries are edible and rich in vitamin C, though they are very sour and acidic, so eating large quantities raw is not usually a pleasant experience or a good idea, as they can upset your stomach. It is also a good idea to remove the seeds as large quantities of these are toxic due to the fact they contain cyanogenic glycosides, which in high doses can kill. The berries are ripe from August to September.

Processing through cooking, freezing or drying is the best way to consume the berries. They are often processed and used to make jams, jellies, syrups, tea, flour.

Leanne Downs

About Leanne Downs

Leanne Downs is the content editor for Thryve and works as an outdoor writer, blogger and photographer. She loves hiking, hillwalking and wild camping.

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