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Bristol Whitebeam

Sorbus bristoliensis

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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, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, 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:
15 metres tall
Scrub, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Clusters of creamy white flowers. Pink anthers.
The fruit is an orange berry. The berries appear in September and October.
Broadly ovate leaves which have large toothed margins and small lobes. The leaves are greyish-white beneath and have pointed tips. Similar in appearance to Willmott's Whitebeam (Sorbus wilmottiana) but the toothed margins are more jagged. The leaves are distinctive in that they are kite-shaped at their bases. Found only in the Avon Gorge (in Britain) at the time of writing this page.
Other Names:
Bristol Gorge Whitebeam.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Sorbus bristoliensis, also known as the Bristol Whitebeam, is a species of whitebeam tree that is native to the Bristol area in southwest England. It is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 15 meters tall. Its leaves are glossy green and its fruit is a small red or orange-red pome. The Bristol Whitebeam is known for its attractive bark and autumn leaf color. It is a rare and endangered species, and is protected under UK law.


Bristol Whitebeam: A Rare and Endangered Tree Species

Bristol Whitebeam, also known as Sorbus bristoliensis, is a rare and endangered tree species found only in the Bristol area of the UK. This tree species is a member of the Rosaceae family and is closely related to the Rowan tree. Bristol Whitebeam is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 15 meters tall and has a trunk diameter of up to 30 cm.

The tree is known for its distinctive white-grey bark and its round-topped crown, which is composed of delicate, bright green leaves that turn yellow in the autumn. The tree produces small white flowers in the spring, followed by clusters of red berries in the fall.

Bristol Whitebeam is a unique tree species and is of great conservation importance due to its restricted range and limited distribution. It is estimated that there are only around 250 mature trees remaining in the wild, with the majority of these located in the Clifton and Leigh Woods area of Bristol.

The main threats to the survival of Bristol Whitebeam are habitat loss and degradation, disease, and climate change. Urban development, and the spread of invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, have also had a significant impact on the species' population.

Efforts are being made to conserve and protect Bristol Whitebeam, with the species being designated as a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. This has resulted in the implementation of several conservation measures, including habitat management, planting of new trees, and research into the biology and ecology of the species.

Bristol Whitebeam is a unique and endangered tree species that is of great conservation importance. Its restricted range and limited distribution make it a priority species for conservation, and efforts are being made to protect and conserve this remarkable tree for future generations. If you live in the Bristol area, be sure to keep an eye out for this beautiful and rare tree species and appreciate its unique features and significance.

In addition to conservation efforts, there is also a need for public awareness and education about Bristol Whitebeam and its significance. The tree species is not well known, even among the local population, and increasing awareness can help to foster a sense of appreciation and responsibility for its preservation.

One way to increase awareness is through guided walks and tours in the Clifton and Leigh Woods area, where many of the remaining Bristol Whitebeam trees can be found. These tours can provide an opportunity for people to learn about the tree's ecology, history, and the conservation efforts underway to protect it.

Another way to support the conservation of Bristol Whitebeam is by participating in volunteer opportunities, such as tree planting and habitat restoration projects. These projects can help to create new habitats for the species, as well as raise awareness about its importance.

The Bristol Whitebeam is a unique and valuable tree species that deserves our attention and protection. Whether through conservation efforts, public education, or volunteer opportunities, there are many ways that we can all contribute to the preservation of this rare and endangered species. By working together, we can ensure that the Bristol Whitebeam continues to thrive for generations to come.

It is also important to note that the conservation of Bristol Whitebeam is not just about preserving the species itself, but also the biodiversity of the ecosystem it is a part of. The tree provides habitats and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and mammals. By protecting Bristol Whitebeam, we are also contributing to the preservation of the entire ecosystem and the species it supports.

Moreover, Bristol Whitebeam has cultural and historical significance as well. It is a tree species that has been a part of the Bristol area for centuries, and has played a role in the area's cultural and social history. It is a reminder of the area's rich natural heritage and the importance of preserving its unique biodiversity.

Another aspect of Bristol Whitebeam's conservation is the potential for ecotourism. The Clifton and Leigh Woods area is a popular tourist destination, and the presence of Bristol Whitebeam can attract even more visitors, providing an economic boost to the local community. By promoting the tree species and the area, we can encourage more people to visit and appreciate the unique beauty of Bristol Whitebeam and the surrounding environment.

In conclusion, the conservation of Bristol Whitebeam is a multifaceted and important issue that requires a coordinated effort from multiple stakeholders. From local residents, to conservation organizations, to government agencies, everyone has a role to play in preserving this rare and valuable tree species and the ecosystem it is a part of. By working together, we can ensure the long-term survival of Bristol Whitebeam and the many benefits it provides to the environment and local community.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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