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Common Shrub Species of the Northwest Forest

TREES

HERBS

GRAMINOIDS

FERNS & FERN-ALLIES

BROPHYTES & LICHENS

GLOSSARIES
Terminology | Pictorial

   
Sorbus americana
American Mountain Ash
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

American Mountain Ash Description

General - a smooth-barked deciduous shrub or small tree up to 10 m high with a short trunk, slender, spreading branches, and a narrow, open round-topped crown; in closed canopies a longer trunk, with the lower portions branch-free; roots fibrous.

Leaves - alternate; compound with 13-17 elliptic, serrate or doubly serrate leaflets 5-10 cm long.

Flowers - numerous in showy round clusters 5-15 cm diameter; individual, 5-petaled flowers, small, 6-8 mm wide; appearing June and July.

Fruit - bright orange-red berries in clusters; ripening in August and September; the berries remain on the tree all winter.

Habitat

Prefers moist habitats from borders of swamps to rocky hillsides; common in openings or in woods, scattered on uplands along edges of woods, roadsides, and under semi-open stands; grows in a stunted form on dryer soils; shade intolerant; common in eastern areas of NW Ontario's boreal forest.

Notes

The berries are favourite winter forage of birds. They are also edible by humans but too acidic to be eaten raw; can be cooked with meats or made into jellies.



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