Open the Advanced Search

Broad-leaved Whitebeam

Sorbus latifolia

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, 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:
20 metres tall
Gardens, parks, riverbanks, scrub, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Clusters of white flowers, pollinated by insects.
Orange-red berries. The seeds ripen in September and October.
Roundish leaves with sharply-toothed edges. Leaves rarely exceed 10cm in length and 6cm in width.
Other Names:
Service Tree of Fontainebleau.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Sorbus latifolia, also known as the broad-leaved whitebeam or service tree of Fontainebleau, is a species of whitebeam that is native to western, central and southern Europe. It is a deciduous tree that grows up to 14 m (46 ft) and has a broad, pyramidal, remarkably symmetrical crown. The trunk is grey and smooth and the young twigs are glossy reddish-brown. The leaves are glossy, dark green above and paler below, and the flowers are white or cream. It is a hybrid of Sorbus aria and Sorbus torminalis, and it produces true from seed. It is a popular ornamental tree and is hardy to UK zone 5.


Broad-leaved Whitebeam: A Deciduous Tree for All Seasons

Sorbus latifolia, also known as the Broad-leaved Whitebeam, is a deciduous tree native to the United Kingdom and Europe. With its distinctive white flowers and red berries, this tree is a striking addition to any garden.

The Broad-leaved Whitebeam grows up to 20 meters tall, with a spreading crown of glossy, dark green leaves. In spring, it produces clusters of small white flowers that are loved by pollinators. In the fall, these flowers are replaced by red berries, which are a favorite food of birds. The tree's leaves turn a brilliant yellow in the autumn, adding to its visual appeal.

One of the most notable characteristics of the Broad-leaved Whitebeam is its resistance to diseases and pests. It is resistant to many of the pests and diseases that afflict other trees in the same family, including the highly destructive oak processionary moth. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking for a low-maintenance tree that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

The Broad-leaved Whitebeam is also very versatile in its growing conditions. It can thrive in a range of soils, from acidic to alkaline, and can grow in both full sun and partial shade. This makes it an excellent choice for gardeners who are looking for a tree that can be grown in a variety of locations.

In terms of care, the Broad-leaved Whitebeam is relatively low-maintenance. It requires very little pruning and can be left to grow naturally. However, it is recommended to water it regularly during the first few years after planting to ensure that it becomes established.

The Broad-leaved Whitebeam is a beautiful, low-maintenance tree that is perfect for adding color and interest to any garden. With its resistance to diseases and pests, versatility in growing conditions, and ease of care, this tree is a great choice for any gardener.

Another aspect that makes the Broad-leaved Whitebeam a great tree for the garden is its versatility in design. It can be used as a standalone specimen tree, planted in groups to create a naturalistic effect, or used as a screen or hedge. Its spreading crown makes it an excellent choice for planting under power lines or along a property line where it can provide privacy and a visual barrier.

The tree's wood is also highly valued for its strength and durability. It has a tight, close-grained structure that makes it ideal for use in furniture, flooring, and construction. This makes it a great choice for those looking for a tree that not only adds beauty to their garden but also has practical applications.

In addition, the Broad-leaved Whitebeam is also known for its cultural significance. In some parts of the UK, it has been used as a symbol of protection and good luck, and its wood has been used to make traditional flutes and other musical instruments.

Overall, the Broad-leaved Whitebeam is a tree that is well worth considering for any gardener or landscaper. With its beauty, versatility, and practicality, it is a tree that is sure to be enjoyed for generations to come.

The Broad-leaved Whitebeam is a highly versatile and beautiful tree that is perfect for a wide range of garden designs. Whether you are looking for a specimen tree, a naturalistic planting, or a hedge, this tree is sure to provide the beauty and practicality you are looking for.

Another aspect that makes the Broad-leaved Whitebeam a valuable addition to any garden is its ecological benefits. As a member of the Rosaceae family, it provides important habitat and food for wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals. The tree's white flowers attract a wide variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and moths, making it an important contributor to the local ecosystem.

In addition to its ecological benefits, the Broad-leaved Whitebeam also has potential medicinal properties. Some traditional healers have used its bark and leaves to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, skin conditions, and respiratory issues. Modern research has begun to explore these potential benefits, and studies have shown that the tree's compounds may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

Another aspect to consider is the tree's hardiness and adaptability. The Broad-leaved Whitebeam is known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, including frost, wind, and heavy rain. This makes it an ideal choice for areas that experience harsh weather, such as coastal regions or exposed hillsides.

Finally, it's worth mentioning the tree's aesthetic appeal. With its glossy, dark green leaves, white flowers, and red berries, the Broad-leaved Whitebeam is a beautiful tree that provides visual interest throughout the year. In the spring, its clusters of white flowers are a striking contrast against the tree's dark foliage, while in the fall, its leaves turn a brilliant yellow, creating a stunning display.

In conclusion, the Broad-leaved Whitebeam is a tree that has much to offer. Its ecological, medicinal, and aesthetic benefits make it a valuable addition to any garden, while its hardiness and adaptability make it an ideal choice for a wide range of growing conditions. If you are looking for a tree that is both beautiful and practical, consider adding a Broad-leaved Whitebeam to your landscape today.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map