Information for the amateur gardener

Sorbus Cashmiriana December 31

Sorbus Cashmiriana an extremely ornamental Rowan

Rowan

If you are looking for an ornamental tree for the small garden this really is one to consider. Sorbus Cashmiriana found growing in the Himalayas, our Scottish climate seems to suit its requirements very well.

Smothered in pale pink  flowers in Spring, followed by pure white large berries in late Summer, very often hanging on to them until December. The birds are not so keen on the berries of this one.

Casmiriana is not a tall tree and is expected to grow to a maximum height of 20 feet, although I have never seen one even this tall, in fact the one which has been in our garden for about

20 years reached the height of seven feet a long time ago, and although very healthy, has not grown any taller.

Update on April 20th 2012—- Cashmiriana is said to be a short lived tree.  Nevertheless it is very disappointing to find that it has given up on us.  The leaves which are the first of the Rowans to open never made an appearance and on closer inspection it was found that the branches were brittle and dead.  Dont be put off, ours was planted in a position where the soil was too shallow, expect your own specimen to last longer than twenty years.

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Here listed are a few other Rowan trees,(Pink Pagoda), with gorgeous leaves, which have a blue/grey hue, pink flowers in Spring and clusters of small red berries come late Summer. This one grows to a maximum height of eighteen feet.

Sorbus

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Vilmorinii from China, long dark green pinnate leaves, arching branches. White flowers in Spring and dark red berries in late Summer, ageing pink then white, grows to about fifteen feet.

Sorbus

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(Joseph Rock), this Rowan tree at the moment is my favourite, although I am a bit fickle and may change my mind. Bright green leaves which turn, orange, red and purple come Autumn. White flowers in Spring, and pale yellow berries which later turn orange. This one can grow to thirty feet.

Sorbus

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Rowan (Aucuparia), native to Scotland grows to a maximum of fifty feet after many years. White flowers in late Spring and brilliant red berries from late Summer and Autumn, or until the birds have feasted on them.

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The final Rowan which we have in the garden is Sorbus Chinese Lace. Grows to a height of 12/15 ft, the leaves have a deeply cut lacey foliage which colour up beautifully in Autumn.  White flowers in early Summer, orange berries follow in Autumn. This Rowan has been in our garden for six years and has never had berries. However I think the problem is that we have it planted in a north facing position. I haven’t taken a photo of this one yet, I will add it next year even if it is just to show the leaves.

These trees all grow well in moderately fertile humus rich well drained soil, in sun or dappled shade.

© 2010 – 2013, Alistair. All rights reserved.


  1. I think rowan trees are fairly uncommon where I live. I can’t think of any I’ve seen around here. I’ll have to look into the reason — I’m not sure if it is because of our climate or if people just aren’t aware of them.

  2. Dear Alistair, Your Rowan trees are lovely! Wishing you the Happiest of New Years! May it be your best gardening year yet! It is great to have found you in 2010 and looking forward to many wonderful and enlightening posts in 2011.

  3. fer says:

    Those are very beautiful trees, it must be great having them on your garden
    I hope you have the best happy new year!!

  4. I love Sorbus. But I have only 3. They seem to grow rather slowly, except for Sorbus aucuparia, which can be a bit of a weed here. The arboretum in Seattle has a large collection. Perhaps you would like to see what they have: http://www.metropolitangardens.com/2010/09/brian-o-mulligan-sorbus-collection.html

    Happy 2011 to you. I’m looking forward to the spring.

  5. Although Rowans grow elsewhere too, I do think of them as a very Scottish tree.

    Esther

  6. Camilla L says:

    I searched for Sorbus Cashmiriana and came to your site. What a great one! I’m from Stockholm in Sweden and I am looking for a small, beautiful tree. Maybe I’ll shop a Cashmiriana… I think they like the climate here. (I’ve been to Aberdeen once. I remember I thought it was a shining bright city – many houses were of white stone, am I right?)

    • Alistair says:

      Camilla, I suspect the Cashmiriana would be happy in Stockholm. The brightness of the houses come from the silver grey granite which Aberdeen is famous for.

  7. M Sorge says:

    What soil conditions do they require. Our cashmiriana did not do too well last year. The soil is very damp at times. Could this be the cause?

    • Alistair says:

      Cashmiriana is not too fussy about soil condition other than it should be free draining and not get boggy. Some years trees which produce berries for whatever reason may not do quite so well only to thrive in consecutive years.

  8. Sheena says:

    i live on the west coast of scotland on a sheltered bay. i want to p;ant a tree on a grassy piece of land next to my cottage and wonder which Sorbus you would suggest.
    My preferences are fast growing but not too big . A fairly spreading habit and because of proximity to the sea – fairly hardy. Rowans grow around here .i love the vilmorinii. the pink pagoda and the cashmiriana. Also most of the trees at our garden centre are about 10 12cm girth. Should i tryy to find somewhere that does semi- mature trees or will that size give me a reasonable little tree by next year
    Thank you very much

    • Alistair says:

      Sheena, for what you need it for, I would go for vilmorinii. Its fine to plant a tree as young as the ones you suggest. You will not see such a great difference in one year but it may well grow quicker than you may expect.

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