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Thin-leaved Whitebeam

Sorbus leptophylla

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.
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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, 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, 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:
9 metres tall
Cliffs, mountains, rocky places.

White, 5 petals
Clusters of white flowers, each with cream or pink anthers.
The fruit are orange-red berries.
Broadly oval leaves with quite even-toothed leaves. The leaves are greyish beneath.
Other Names:
Large-leaved Whitebeam.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Sorbus leptophylla is a species of whitebeam tree that is native to parts of Europe, including the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Apennines. It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree, growing up to 20 meters in height. The leaves are narrow and elongated, with a glossy green upper surface and a pale underside. The tree produces clusters of white flowers in the spring, followed by small red berries in the fall. It is considered a rare species and is protected under European law. It is found in mountainous areas and rocky outcrops.


Thin-leaved Whitebeam (Sorbus leptophylla) is a deciduous tree that is native to the mountains of Europe. It is a member of the rose family and is known for its beautiful white flowers, which bloom in late spring, and its small, narrow leaves that turn a brilliant yellow in the fall.

Growing to a height of 20-30 feet, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam has a slender, upright form and a dense, rounded crown. Its bark is smooth and gray, and its branches are covered in a fine, downy hair when young. As the tree matures, the bark becomes more deeply furrowed and the branches develop a more gnarled appearance.

The leaves of the Thin-leaved Whitebeam are a distinguishing feature of the tree. They are small, narrow, and have a unique, slightly wavy edge. In the spring, the new leaves are a bright, fresh green, and they darken to a deeper green over the summer. In the fall, they turn a stunning yellow, adding an extra pop of color to the autumn landscape.

In late spring, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam produces clusters of small, white flowers that are often compared to snowflakes. These flowers are followed by small, red fruits that mature to a yellow color in the fall. While these fruits are not particularly ornamental, they are an important food source for birds and other wildlife.

The Thin-leaved Whitebeam is a hardy tree that is well-suited to growing in a range of conditions. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but it is also tolerant of partial shade. This tree is disease-resistant and requires little maintenance, making it a great choice for gardeners who want a low-maintenance, yet attractive tree.

The Thin-leaved Whitebeam is a beautiful, versatile tree that is well worth considering for any garden. With its slender form, stunning fall color, and beautiful white flowers, this tree adds a touch of elegance to any landscape. Whether you're planting in a large, open space or a small city garden, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam is a tree that is sure to impress.

In addition to its ornamental qualities, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam also has practical uses. The wood from this tree is hard and durable, and it has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history, including for tool handles, furniture, and even for firewood.

Another benefit of the Thin-leaved Whitebeam is its ability to tolerate exposure to harsh winds and salty air. This makes it an ideal choice for planting near coastal areas or in exposed, windy locations. It is also resistant to pollution, making it a great choice for urban gardens where air pollution is a concern.

Overall, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam is a versatile and hardy tree that is perfect for a variety of landscapes. Whether you're looking for a tree to provide shade, add color to your yard, or attract wildlife, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam is an excellent choice.

The Thin-leaved Whitebeam is a remarkable tree that offers beauty and practicality in equal measure. With its stunning flowers, brilliant fall color, and versatility, it is no wonder that this tree is so highly prized by gardeners and landscapers alike. So if you're looking for a tree that will add beauty and value to your property, consider the Thin-leaved Whitebeam.

It's also important to note that the Thin-leaved Whitebeam is a relatively rare tree and is considered to be a protected species in some parts of its native range. This is due to its limited distribution and declining populations in some areas. Gardeners who are interested in planting this tree can help to conserve its populations by sourcing plants from sustainable sources, such as nurseries that propagate their own stock or those that specialize in native plants.

In addition to its ornamental and practical uses, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam is also an important food source for wildlife. The small, red fruits are particularly attractive to birds and provide a valuable source of nutrition during the fall and winter months when other food sources may be scarce. This makes the Thin-leaved Whitebeam an important species for wildlife conservation, as well as for gardeners who are interested in attracting wildlife to their yards.

Overall, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam is a tree that deserves a place in any garden. Whether you're looking for a beautiful, low-maintenance tree that will add color to your yard, or a tree that will provide food and habitat for wildlife, the Thin-leaved Whitebeam is an excellent choice.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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