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Sorbus americana - Marshall.

Common Name American Mountain Ash
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 2-6
Known Hazards 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.
Habitats Woods, borders of swamps and rocky hillsides[43, 82] at higher elevations[229].
Range Eastern N. America - Newfoundland to N. Carolina, west to Illinois and Manitoba.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Sorbus americana American Mountain Ash


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Bruce_Marlin
Sorbus americana American Mountain Ash
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Sorbus americana is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Synonyms

S. microcarpa.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary; Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[62, 101]. Rich in iron and vitamin C[213, 226]. The fruit is used mainly in making pies, preserves etc, but it can also be eaten raw after a frost because it turns sweeter then[101, 183]. The fruit has a high tannin content and so should only be used in moderation if eaten raw[226]. It can also be dried and ground into a meal[226]. The fruit is produced in dense clusters and is up to 8mm in diameter[200].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiscorbutic;  Antiseptic;  Appetizer;  Astringent;  Blood purifier;  Digestive;  Diuretic;  Laxative;  
Miscellany.

The inner bark has astringent and antiseptic properties[213]. It is also used as a blood purifier and appetite stimulant[257]. An infusion is used (sometimes with the terminal buds added) in the treatment of colds, debility, diarrhoea etc[222, 257]. When mixed with sweet flag (Acorus calamus) it is used as a tonic[257]. A poultice of the burnt bark has been used in the treatment of boils[257]. The fruit is antiscorbutic, diuretic, mildly laxative, astringent and digestive[226, 257]. It is an ideal accompaniment for foods that are hard to digest[226]. A tea from the berries is antiscorbutic and astringent[213, 222]. It has been used as a rectal wash for piles[213]. It is also used in homeopathic remedies[46, 82].

Other Uses

Miscellany;  Wood.

Wood - soft, light, close grained, with little strength[82, 229, 235]. It weighs about 34lb per cubic foot[235] and is of no commercial value[229].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Specimen. Succeeds in most reasonably good soils in an open sunny position[11]. Tolerates partial shade[188], though it fruits better in a sunny position[K]. Dislikes dry soils[188]. Able to succeed in poor soils and to become established on exposed open ground[229]. A slow-growing and relatively short-lived tree in the wild[229], it fruits freely in Britain[11]. Plants are susceptible to fireblight[188]. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[78, 80]. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed[78, 80]. Stored seed germinates better if given 2 weeks warm then 14 - 16 weeks cold stratification[98], so sow it as early in the year as possible. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Seedlings are very slow to put on top-growth for their first year or two[11], but they are busy building up a good root system. It is best to keep them in pots in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Amelasorbus jackiiJack's amelasorbus20
Sorbus alnifoliaKorean Mountain Ash10
Sorbus ariaWhitebeam, Chess-apple31
Sorbus aucupariaMountain Ash, European mountain ash22
Sorbus austriaca 20
Sorbus commixta 10
Sorbus decoraShowy Mountain Ash11
Sorbus devoniensisDevon Whitebeam30
Sorbus domesticaService Tree50
Sorbus gracilis 10
Sorbus hybridaSwedish Service Tree, Oakleaf mountain ash10
Sorbus intermediaSwedish Whitebeam20
Sorbus japonica 10
Sorbus lanata 30
Sorbus latifoliaFrench Hales40
Sorbus mougeotii 40
Sorbus pohuashanensis 10
Sorbus sambucifoliaSiberian mountain ash20
Sorbus scopulinaWestern Mountain Ash, Greene's mountain ash, Cascade mountain ash21
Sorbus sitchensisSitka Mountain Ash, Western mountain ash11
Sorbus species 20
Sorbus thibeticaTibetan whitebeam30
Sorbus torminalisWild Service Tree, Checkertree40
Sorbus vestita 10

 

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Author

Marshall.

Botanical References

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Links / References

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Readers comment

David Beaulieu   Wed Jan 11 2006

Mountain Ash Trees Information for homeowners about growing mountain ash trees.

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