Plant Detail

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Sorbus decora

* Common Name:

showy mountain ash, northern mountain ash, showy northern ash

* Genus:

Sorbus

* Species:

decora

Subspecies:

* Family (scientific):

Rosaceae

* Family (common):

Rose

Synonyms :

* Distribution in Canada:

Manitoba
Ontario
Quebec
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
P.E.I.
Newfoundland

 

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Notice: This species is often confused with others. Only purchase from a specialized, bio-regional native plant nursery. 

Habitat

Ecozone(s):

Taiga Shield
Boreal Shield
Atlantic Maritime
Mixedwood Plains
Boreal Plains
Prairies
Hudson Plains

Natural Habitat(s):

Woodland (35-60% cover)
Forest Edge
Riparian (edge)
Rocky Bluff
Lakeshores

Habitat Garden(s):

Hedgerow / Thicket / Windbreak / Screening
Woodland

Erosion Control?

Characteristics
 
Growing Conditions

* Plant Type:

Tree

Moisture Requirements: Moist

Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade

Soil Requirements: Clay, Sand, Loam

Temperature Zone: 2

Evergreen?

No

Average Height:

5 to 10 m

Tolerances:

Salt Tolerant

Flower Info
 
Fruit/Seed Info

Showy flowers?

Yes

Showy fruit/seeds?

Yes

Bloom time:

Jun to Jul

Edible for humans?

No

Flower Colour(s):

White/Cream

Fruit/Seed Colour(s):

Red

Miscellaneous
 
Uses

Fragrant Flowers?

No

Urban Oasis, Stewards in the City, and Eco Superior are specific Evergreen programs that some plants are used in.

Fragrant Foliage?

No

Program & Other Uses:

Culinary
Medicinal

Fall colours?

Yes

Distinctive bark?

No

Poisonous to humans?

Yes

Thorns or prickles?

Attracts wildlife?

Birds

Larval host for:

Provincial tree/flower?

Plant Watch species?

No

Interesting Tidbits
 
References

The seeds probably contain hydrogen cyanide. This is the ingredient that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. Unless the seed is very bitter it should be perfectly safe in reasonable quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.(PFAF)

It is difficult to find reliable sources of native species of mountain ash. It is another situation where mislabelling occurs. There is no way of knowing, short of having a trained person on-site to check the stock, whether it is true to name or simply European mountain-ash labelled as American or showy. The best clue for I.D. is the terminal buds. European mountain-ash has downy buds, while the two native species have smooth and sticky buds. (G. Miller)

Unlike Europeans, Aboriginals did not attribute magical power to the North American mountain ashes in their folklore. (Hosie, R.C. - Nat. Trees of CA)

Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada

Plants for a Future

Rook Family

Shrubs of Ontario
Soper, J.H. and M.L. Heimburger
ROM
1982
ISBN 0-88854-283-6

Trees of Ontario
Linda Kershaw
Lone Pine Publishing
2001
ISBN 1-55105-274-1

Native Trees of Canada
R.C. Hosie
Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd.
1979

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