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Bloody Whitebeam

Sorbus vexans

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
11 metres tall
Cliffs, scrub, sea cliffs, seaside, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Small white flowers.
Dark orange-red berry-like fruits, appearing from September onwards.
Broadly ovate leaves which are evenly toothed and silvery white beneath.
Other Names:
Western Mountain Ash.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Sorbus vexans, also known as the western mountain ash, is a species of tree in the rose family. It is native to the western North America, primarily found in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada. The tree grows to a height of 25–35 ft (7.6–10.7 m) and is characterized by its pinnately compound leaves, white flowers, and red berries. Its wood is hard and strong, and it has been used for various purposes such as tool handles, furniture, and fuel.


The Bloody Whitebeam (Sorbus vexans) is a species of deciduous tree that is native to the mountainous regions of Europe. It is known for its stunning foliage that ranges from deep green to brilliant shades of red and orange in the autumn months.

The Bloody Whitebeam is part of the rose family and can grow to a height of 20-30 feet with a spread of 15-25 feet. It is a slow-growing tree, but its longevity and resilience make it a popular choice for gardens and parks.

The tree is notable for its distinctive leaves which are deeply lobed with toothed edges. In the summer, the leaves are a fresh green color, while in the autumn they turn a stunning mix of red, orange, and yellow. The Bloody Whitebeam is also known for its clusters of white flowers that bloom in the spring and summer, followed by its distinctive red berries that persist through the winter.

Despite its beauty, the Bloody Whitebeam is a tough and hardy tree that is well-suited to colder climates. It is able to withstand frost and snow, making it a popular choice for landscapes in areas with harsh winters. Additionally, the tree is drought-tolerant and able to adapt to various soil conditions, including rocky and exposed sites.

The Bloody Whitebeam is a beautiful and hardy tree that is perfect for gardens and parks in colder climates. Its stunning foliage, white flowers, and red berries make it a standout feature in any landscape, and its resilience and adaptability ensure that it will thrive for many years to come.

The Bloody Whitebeam is also a valuable species for wildlife. Its berries provide an important source of food for birds and other animals during the winter months when food is scarce. The tree also provides habitat for a variety of insects and other small creatures, making it an important part of the ecosystem.

The tree has been used for medicinal purposes in traditional European medicine for centuries. Its bark, leaves, and berries have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, skin conditions, and respiratory issues. However, it is important to note that not all parts of the tree are safe for consumption, and it is recommended to seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before using any plant-based remedies.

Despite its popularity and many uses, the Bloody Whitebeam is considered a rare and endangered species. The tree is only found in specific regions, and its natural habitat is under threat from deforestation, overgrazing, and the spread of non-native species. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve this important species, but much work remains to be done.

The Bloody Whitebeam is a beautiful and valuable tree that is an important part of the European landscape and ecosystem. Its beauty and hardiness make it a popular choice for gardens and parks, while its medicinal and ecological value ensure its importance for generations to come. It is crucial that we work to protect and preserve this rare and endangered species for future generations to enjoy.

The Bloody Whitebeam is not only a valuable species for wildlife and traditional medicine, but also for the local economy. In some areas, the tree is used for its wood, which is durable and strong. The wood is often used for making furniture, flooring, and other wooden products.

In addition, the tree has cultural and historical significance in some regions. In certain parts of Europe, the tree is associated with local folklore and legends, and is seen as a symbol of strength and resilience. In these areas, the tree is often protected and cherished, and its continued survival is seen as important for preserving cultural heritage.

Despite its many benefits, the Bloody Whitebeam is facing several threats, including habitat loss, climate change, and disease. In some areas, the tree is also threatened by over-harvesting for its wood and berries. In order to protect and conserve this species, it is important to implement sustainable harvesting practices and to restore and protect its natural habitat.

In conclusion, the Bloody Whitebeam is a valuable tree that has ecological, cultural, and economic importance. It is crucial that we work to protect and conserve this species, not only for its beauty and hardiness, but also for the benefits it provides to wildlife, traditional medicine, local economies, and cultural heritage. By preserving this species, we can ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy its many benefits for years to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map