Taxonomy

Sorbus aucuparia | Rowan | Caorthann

Distribution

Status

Conservation status

Not protected

Native status

Native

Species Biology

Identification

Flowers:  May – June; clusters of white flowers

Fruits: Clusters of red berries with orange pulp within

Twigs & bark:  Twig brown; bark grey and smooth

Habitat

Mountainous areas, rocky places, hedgerows, stream-sides, avoids calcareous soils

Life cycle

Perennial

Ex-situ conservation

Not known

Use

Food crop

Vegetative nature

Woody

Distribution

World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Widespread and common.

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2020

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Further information

A native of most of Europe. In the Mediterranean region it is confined to high altitudes in mountains. The juice within the berries has a laxative effect, which aids in seed dispersal when eaten by birds. The berries were used for cloth dye, jellies and flavour for mead by our Irish ancestors. The Celtic druids considered the Mountain Ash a lucky tree, who believed it contained magical fire prevention properties when hung in house. Tolerant of poor soils and is a good colonizer. The berries provide a food source for birds, particularly mistle thrushes who are known to guard trees

 

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