Open the Advanced Search

White's Whitebeam

Sorbus whiteana

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


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, 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-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
Gardens, mountains, parks, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Clusters of white flowers.
Red berries which appear in September and October.
Kite-shaped leaves with unlobed or scarcely lobed leaves. Greyish-white beneath. Found growing in the Avon Gorge.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Sorbus whiteana is a species of tree native to the mountains of Scotland and the Lake District of England. It is a small to medium-sized tree, typically growing to around 10-15 meters in height. The leaves are oval in shape and are a glossy dark green, turning yellow in autumn. The small white flowers appear in clusters in late spring, followed by red berries in the autumn. It is a hardy tree and can grow in a variety of soils and climatic conditions. It is considered to be a rare and threatened species in the wild, but is often grown as an ornamental tree in gardens and parks.


White's Whitebeam: A Rare and Distinctive Tree

White's Whitebeam (Sorbus whiteana) is a rare and distinctive tree species native to the hills and mountains of northern England and southern Scotland. It is named after the botanist James Edward White, who first discovered it in the early 1900s. This species is considered a botanical gem due to its unique features and limited distribution range.


White's Whitebeam is a medium-sized deciduous tree that can reach up to 15 meters in height. It has a spreading crown and a straight trunk, with a grey-brown bark that is covered with shallow fissures. The leaves of this species are obovate and have a glossy green appearance. In the autumn, the leaves turn a brilliant orange-red color, making the tree an attractive sight. The tree also produces small white flowers in the spring, which are followed by clusters of red berries in the fall.

Conservation Status

White's Whitebeam is considered a rare and endangered species, with a limited distribution range. It is estimated that there are only about 300 mature trees in the wild. This species is vulnerable to habitat loss, as much of its native habitat has been converted to agriculture or commercial forestry. Additionally, the tree is susceptible to disease and pests, which can cause significant damage to its population.

Cultural Significance

White's Whitebeam is an important species for botanists and ecologists, as it provides valuable information about the evolution and distribution of trees in northern England and Scotland. It is also an important cultural symbol for the local communities in these regions, who have long valued the tree for its unique features and its role in the natural landscape.

Cultivation and Propagation

White's Whitebeam is a slow-growing tree and is not widely cultivated. However, it can be propagated from seed or by taking cuttings from mature trees. When grown in the right conditions, White's Whitebeam is a hardy tree that can withstand harsh weather and environmental conditions. It prefers well-drained soils and a sunny position, but can also tolerate partial shade.

Due to its rarity and slow growth, White's Whitebeam is not widely available for purchase. However, some nurseries specialize in rare and unusual tree species, and may have White's Whitebeam available for sale. For those who are interested in cultivating this species, it is important to purchase plants from reputable nurseries that are responsibly sourced and grown in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Landscape Uses

White's Whitebeam is an attractive tree that can be used in a variety of landscaping settings. Its spreading crown, straight trunk, and vibrant autumn foliage make it a great choice for parks, gardens, and other public spaces. It can also be used as a specimen tree or in group plantings for a striking display.

In addition to its aesthetic value, White's Whitebeam also provides important environmental benefits. It provides habitat for wildlife and helps to prevent soil erosion by stabilizing the soil with its roots. It also helps to improve air and water quality by filtering pollutants and providing shade.

White's Whitebeam is a rare and distinctive tree species that is well worth considering for those who are looking to add a touch of botanical beauty to their landscape. With its unique characteristics, cultural significance, and environmental benefits, it is a tree that is sure to make a lasting impact.

Importance to Biodiversity

White's Whitebeam is an important species in terms of biodiversity as it is a unique and endemic tree species found only in a limited geographic area. The tree is part of a unique and diverse ecosystem that includes other rare and endemic species, which are dependent on one another for survival. By preserving White's Whitebeam and its habitat, we are not only helping to protect this species but also preserving the wider ecosystem and the many other species that are part of it.

Threats to Survival

White's Whitebeam faces a number of threats to its survival. Habitat loss is one of the biggest threats to this species, as much of its native range has been converted for agriculture or commercial forestry. Climate change also poses a threat, as changes in temperature and precipitation patterns can negatively impact the tree's growth and survival. Additionally, the tree is vulnerable to disease and pests, which can cause significant damage to its population.

Conservation Efforts

Conservation efforts are underway to protect White's Whitebeam and its habitat. These efforts include planting new trees, monitoring populations, and conducting research to better understand the species and its habitat requirements. Conservation organizations, such as the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, are working to protect this species and its habitat through a variety of programs and initiatives.

In addition to these efforts, it is important for individuals to take action to protect White's Whitebeam and its habitat. This can include supporting conservation organizations, volunteering for conservation projects, and advocating for the protection of this species and its habitat.

In conclusion, White's Whitebeam is a rare and unique species that is worth protecting for its unique features, cultural significance, and importance to biodiversity. Conservation efforts are underway to protect this species and its habitat, but it is important for individuals to take action and support these efforts in order to ensure the survival of this remarkable tree for generations to come.