Saturday, 5 October 2013

Rowan berries

I've long wanted to try and photograph all the various colours of berries on the rowan (mountain ash) trees. While I was taking my birdwatching group round Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens on Monday, I realised that my best option for getting as many colours as possible was to visit the Botanics with a camera. So today Crafty Green Boyfriend and I did just that and here are the rowans:

On the way to the Botanics we noticed this tree outside St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral (above and below) - probably a Vilmoran's rowan (Sorbus vilmorinii), a relatively unusual ornamental rowan, notable for its beautiful pink berries.
Many of the rowans inside the Botanics are labelled with their species which makes identification so much easier. Here are:

Sorbus pseudovilmorini (above and below)



Sorbus macrantha

 Sorbus apiculata 

Sorbus eburnea

Sorbus discolor

Sorbus himalaica

Sorbus monbeigii


this orange berried rowan is in a private garden beside the Botanics and so isn't labelled. 


this lovely yellow berries rowan may or may not be the same species as the one overhanging the wall of the Botanics, but it looks particularly beautiful against the wonderful blue sky of a few days ago. 

This white berried rowan is a fairly common ornamental species in Edinburgh.

 and here's two photos (above and below) of our native rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

Rowan berries shouldn't be eaten raw as they can cause indigestion and lead to kidney damage but they can be cooked and made into jelly or used as a coffee substitute.

Birds love rowan berries. I've already heard reports of the first waxwings being seen in Scotland this year, and I'm hoping that in the next month or so these rowan trees will all be covered in waxwings.....

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more


17 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

really pretty range of color.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

They're so pretty. I wonder if our Mountain Ash tree is one of these..I've never even heard of Rowan trees, but the mt ash looks kind of like the orange ones.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sallie - yes, mountain ask is rowan, I'll edit the post to add that in...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Great photographs, perfectly reflecting this season.
Dear Juliet, I am worried for David King. His latest post is two weeks old -he posted almost every da...- I think he had had some problems with his health but there is no way for me to know more...

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I'd love to make a wreath out of these.
The birds would love it!
xo

Rabbits' Guy said...

I do like going where the trees and plants are labeled - so much to learn and compare then!

I have not yet seen a passing flock of waxwings here either, but any time, what with so many berries on trees and bushes ...

However, the first wintering snow geese have arrived in great numbers from Wrangall Island - quite striking against a blue autumn sky. They will be here eating in the fields until about the first day of spring now!

speedyrabbit said...

beautiful Juliet,xx Rachel

dosankodebbie said...

I never knew that rowan berries came in any colours other than orange-turning-to-bright-red! Mountain Ash is one of the representative trees of Hokkaido too.

eileeninmd said...

Lovely colors and a nice variety. The pink berries are very pretty. The birds should be very happy. Have a happy week ahead!

Rambling Woods said...

Lovely photos Juliet.. it always makes me smile thinking of happy birds finding food in nature..Michelle

EG CameraGirl said...

I have seen rowan berries only in yellow and orange. I had no idea there are so many varieties!

A Cuban In London said...

Beautiful images, Been to Scotland but not to Edinburgh. I stayed in Oban for about a week in 2001. Loved it.

Greetings from London.

Carol Steel said...

Thanks for this post. What an education for me. We have only the red/orange berried rowans. I didn't know there were so many varieties. Again, thank you.

Ruthie Redden said...

What a beautiful set of photos, so many variations in colour, there have been such a glut of them this year. I have been out a picking and have rowan berries strung & drying in the studio and another batch in the freezer ready to make some rowan berry chutney with.

Lynn said...

I had no idea there was such variety of colour of rowan berry. Lovely!

Caroline Gill said...

Wonderful post, Juliet! I learned so much about the different colours ... had seen the yellow-orange-red shades, but never pink and white!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thank you so much for letting me know about Mountain Ash ... I'll now never forget what rowan trees are. (And I wish I could see the pink one!)