Rowan or Mountain Ash, Sorbus aucuparia

tree of the Rosaceae family, subfamily Malaceae
(Hawthorn, Snowy Mespilus, Hawthorn, Quince tree, Medlar, Pear tree, Apple tree, Rowan).

Etymology: "sorbus" comes from the Celtic: "sor", hard, and "mel", honey. The name "rowan" is derived from the Old Norse (scanndinavian language) name for the tree, "raun" or from a proto-Germanic word "raudnian" meaning "getting red" and which referred to the red foliage and red berries in autumn.
Origin: Europe.
Habitat: as pioneer species, the rowan is undemanding for soil. It can fix rubble thanks to its deep roots. it supports shade. It is found in edge of spruce forests. Its leaves decompose fast and create a good humus.
Lifespan: 120 years.
Height: 15 m tall.
Shape: ovoid crown with spherical.
Species: there are American and Asiatic species. The rowan is close to the sorb (which lives 500 years instead of 120 years for the rowan).
Light grey smooth bark. Right trunk.
Deciduous foliage. Leaves alternate, long, composed of 15-17 leaflets with toothed margins.
Flowers in white clusters in May. Red fruits in abundant clusters. They contain some acid parasorbinique, bitter taste, which can cause vomiting and cutaneous eruptions which resemble those of scarlatina.
Legends and traditions: For the Celts and Germen, the rowan is a sacred tree which protects the stock against lightning. The Scottish allocated to it the power to dispel bad spirits near houses. In the tradition of countryside, mountain ash, as the elder, brings good luck to lovers.
Uses: the bird catchers caught in the net, thrushes attracted by the red berries. The sapwood is reddish appreciated for the sculpture. Its hard wood was used to make planing tools. Its berries are edible in "sorbet" and liqueur. Jam alleviates diarrhea. Its leaves are good fodder.


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