Chinese Mountain Ash

Chinese Mountain Ash

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Scientific Name:
Sorbus glabriuscula
Edinburgh, E26 Map
Available for adoption

This small tree naturally occurs in dense forests on mountain slopes and gullies of western China, specifically the province of Hubei, from which it takes its scientific name. In the summer months it produces clouds of white flowers, which are popular with bees. Its delicate leaves are initially tinged bluish-green, before transforming to warmer hues in the autumn, and offering large clusters of fruit along its slender branches.

Sorbus hupehensis is a relatively small tree, and grows up to 10 m. Described from a collection made by Ernest “Chinese” Wilson in 1901, it was introduced into cultivation in the UK in 1910. Most of today’s cultivated Sorbus hupehensis plants derive from the collections of the eminent botanist and plant collector George Forrest, who worked for RBGE from 1910 onwards. Forrest’s collections were from the Lijiang area in Yunnan province of China. RBGE continues to have strong links with this area through collaborative work with the Kunming Institute of Botany, based around a field station at the foot of the Yulong Xue Shan (Jade Dragon Mountain) near Lijiang.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)