Rowan Sorbus aucuparia

Rowan is a small tree that can be recognised by its tooth-edged Ash-like leaves (15 leaflets arranged in pairs). It is slender tree with creamy-white spring flowers and clusters of bright red autumn berries – a favourite food of birds such as visiting Waxwings, Redwings and other thrushes.


Rowan is a small tree found on mountains, heathland and in woodland edges, and is frequently planted in towns and gardens. It can grow at higher altitudes than any other native British tree and has been known to grow at heights up to 1000m in the Highlands.


  • Height: 8-15m





When to see

January – December


  • Rowan is also known as ‘Mountain Ash’ because of the Ash-like shape of its leaves and its preference for upland areas – often seen standing as a lone tree in a dramatic, windswept landscape.
  • Rowan can often be found planted near old buildings or churchyards, as this tree was believed to protect the occupants against witches.

Common name


Species name

Sorbus aucuparia

IUCN Red List status

Least concern

When to see in Scotland

January – December

Where to see in Scotland

Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves such as Luggiebank Wood or Blackcraig Wood

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