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Sorbus sitchensis - Roem.

Common Name Sitka Mountain Ash, Western mountain ash
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
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 Found mainly on rich moist soils along the borders of streams, or rocky hillsides, usually in association with conifers[229].
Range Western N. America - Alaska to California, east to Idaho and Montana.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Sorbus sitchensis Sitka Mountain Ash, Western mountain ash


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
Sorbus sitchensis Sitka Mountain Ash, Western mountain ash
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Sorbus sitchensis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in May. 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

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked in pies, preserves etc[62, 105, 161, 183]. Of poor quality[256]. The fruit turns sweeter and so tastes best after a frost[101]. The fruit is produced in clusters, each fruit being about 6 - 12mm in diameter[229].

Medicinal Uses



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Antirheumatic;  Enuresis;  Kidney;  Parasiticide;  Stomachic.

An infusion of the branches has been given to young children with bed-wetting problems[257]. An infusion of the root and branch bark has been drunk in the treatment of stomach problems and rheumatism[257]. The infusion can also be used externally as a bath for treating rheumatism[257]. A decoction of the root and branch bark has been used as an eyewash[257]. The bark has been chewed in the treatment of colds[257]. An infusion of the branches has been used in the treatment of weak kidneys in order to stop the frequent urination[257].

Other Uses

Parasiticide;  Pioneer;  Wood.

This species is capable of growing in exposed conditions in poor soils[229], and so could be used in re-afforestation as a pioneer plant to provide suitable conditions for other woodland trees to be established[K]. It is rather slow-growing, however, and would only be used in situations where faster species were not so suitable[K]. The berries have been rubbed onto the scalp in order to get rid of lice[257]. Wood - moderately light with little strength, it is of no commercial value[229].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most reasonably good soils in an open sunny position[11]. Dislikes dry soils[188]. Tolerates light shade[188], though it fruits better in a sunny position[K]. This species is able to succeed in poor soils and to become established on exposed broken ground[229], it is thus suitable for use as a pioneer species in re-establishing woodland[K]. A slow-growing shrub in the wild, it can sometimes become a small tree up to 9 metres tall[229]. It usually produces abundant crops of fruit every year[229]. Plants are susceptible to fireblight[188].

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 americanaAmerican Mountain Ash12
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 species 20
Sorbus thibeticaTibetan whitebeam30
Sorbus torminalisWild Service Tree, Checkertree40
Sorbus vestita 10

 

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Roem.

Botanical References

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