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Twin-cliffs Whitebeam

Sorbus eminentoides

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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, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, 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:
10 metres tall

White, 5 petals
The white flowers appear in clusters.
The fruit is a red berry.
Broad, oval leaves. Greyish on the undersides. Extremely rare tree. Found growing on two cliffs at the entrance to Cheddar Gorge, Somerset.
Other Names:
Two Cliffs Whitebeam.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Sorbus eminentoides, also known as Twin Cliffs Whitebeam, is a species of whitebeam tree native to the United Kingdom. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree, typically growing to 8–10 m tall, with a trunk up to 50 cm diameter. The leaves are alternate, oval to roundish, 5–8 cm long and 4–7 cm broad, with a serrated margin and a short petiole. The flowers are creamy-white, with five petals, produced in dense corymbs 3–6 cm diameter in late spring. The fruit is a globose pome, 8–10 mm diameter, red or yellow when ripe in autumn. Sorbus eminentoides is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and is found only in a few locations in the United Kingdom.


Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Sorbus eminentoides, is a unique species of tree that is native to the cliffs of the Isle of Wight in England. It is known for its striking appearance and its rare, twin trunk form. The tree is a member of the Rosaceae family, which also includes popular fruit trees such as apples, pears, and cherries.

The Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 20 meters tall. It has a dense, rounded crown and smooth, silver-grey bark. The leaves of the tree are oval shaped, dark green on the upper surface and light green on the underside. In the autumn, the leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red before falling off.

One of the most notable features of the Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is its unique twin trunk form. This characteristic is thought to be a result of the tree’s growing conditions on the cliffs, where it has to compete for limited resources and light. The two trunks grow from the same root system and eventually fuse together, creating a strong, single stem.

In addition to its beautiful appearance, the Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is also an important part of the ecosystem on the Isle of Wight. It provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including birds and insects. It also acts as a windbreak, protecting other vegetation on the cliffs.

Despite its unique and important role in the ecosystem, the Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is considered a rare species, with a limited distribution range. In recent years, there have been efforts to conserve the species, including planting new trees in suitable habitats.

The Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is a beautiful and unique tree species that is a valuable part of the ecosystem on the Isle of Wight. With continued conservation efforts, this species will continue to thrive and be enjoyed for generations to come.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is also a popular tree for use in bonsai cultivation. Its striking appearance and slow growth rate make it a desirable subject for bonsai enthusiasts. The tree’s twin trunk form and dense, rounded crown can be trained and shaped to create stunning bonsai specimens.

Another interesting characteristic of the Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is its tolerance to salt spray. This makes it a great choice for coastal gardens and landscapes, where other trees may struggle to thrive due to the harsh salt spray conditions. It is also resistant to wind damage, making it an ideal tree for planting on exposed hillside or cliff top sites.

The Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is not commonly available for sale, but can be found at specialty nurseries and botanic gardens. Propagation of the tree is done through seed or cuttings, although it can take several years for the cuttings to root and establish.

The Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is a beautiful, unique and versatile tree species with many interesting characteristics. Its ornamental value, tolerance to salt spray, and use in bonsai cultivation make it a desirable addition to any garden or landscape. Conservation efforts to protect this rare species are important to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy its beauty and ecological benefits.

The Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is also a valuable tree for scientific research. In recent years, genetic studies have been conducted on the species to better understand its evolutionary history and relationships to other members of the Rosaceae family. These studies have provided insights into the origins and diversity of the genus Sorbus, and have helped to identify key genetic markers that can be used for conservation and management of the species.

In addition, the Twin-cliffs Whitebeam has been used in research on the ecology of cliff-top ecosystems. The tree’s ability to tolerate the harsh growing conditions on the cliffs, such as high winds, salt spray, and nutrient-poor soils, has made it an important subject for understanding the ecological processes that shape these unique environments.

Finally, the Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is a culturally significant species, with a long history of use and importance in the local communities on the Isle of Wight. For example, the tree has been used for food, medicine, and woodcraft, and has been associated with folklore and legends. These cultural connections serve to highlight the importance of the species, not just as a beautiful and valuable tree, but also as a part of the cultural heritage of the region.

In conclusion, the Twin-cliffs Whitebeam is a valuable and multifaceted species that has much to offer in terms of its ornamental value, cultural significance, and ecological and scientific importance. Its continued conservation and protection will ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy its beauty and ecological benefits, and continue to benefit from the scientific and cultural insights it provides.