Showy Mountain Ash – Sorbus decora

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; similar to American Mountain Ash but winter buds are sticky.

Showy Mountain Ash Leaves – alternate; compound with 13-17, similar to American Mountain Ash but shorter and more rounded at the base, serrate or doubly serrate leaflets.

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

Fruit – scarlet berries in loose clusters; ripening in August and September.



Very common throughout NW Ontario’s boreal forest, found in a broad range of soil/site conditions in a wide variety of forest types.


Berries are a preferred food source of Ruffed Grouse, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Common Grackle and Pine Grosbeak. Although the leaves are poisonous, the fruit can be eaten by humans and is rich in iron and Vitamin C. Berries are most often used in jellies.