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Ship Rock Whitebeam

Sorbus parviloba

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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, 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:
10 metres tall
Gardens, woodland.

White, 5 petals
The flowers are white and appear in clusters.
Red berries.
The broad leaves are oval and toothed.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Sorbus parviloba, commonly known as Ship Rock Whitebeam, is a small tree native to the British Isles. It is currently known to exist only as a single individual near Symonds Yat in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. It is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, and is the only species in the genus Sorbus to be listed as such. It is also found in the gardens of Kew and Westonbirt Arboretum, and is grown as an ornamental. The species is believed to have been introduced to Britain in the early 1800s, and is thought to be a hybrid of Sorbus aria and Sorbus domestica. It has white flowers with yellow centres, and the leaves are deeply lobed and grey-green in colour.


Ship Rock Whitebeam (Sorbus parviloba) is a species of tree that belongs to the Rosaceae family and is native to the British Isles. It is also known by its common name, “Ship Rock Rowan”. This species is endemic to the Isle of Arran, Scotland and is only found in the region surrounding the famous “Ship Rock” on the island.

The Ship Rock Whitebeam is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 20 meters in height. It has a rounded, spreading crown and a trunk that can reach up to 50 centimeters in diameter. The bark of the tree is smooth and gray in color with horizontal lines. The leaves are oval in shape and are bright green in color. They are up to 12 cm long and 7 cm wide and turn yellow in the autumn. The tree produces small white flowers in clusters in the spring and small red berries in the autumn.

This species is considered to be of botanical and conservation importance due to its limited distribution. The Ship Rock Whitebeam is a rare species and is only found in a small area on the Isle of Arran. It is estimated that there are only around 20 individuals of this species in the wild. The species is considered to be endangered and is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Despite its rarity, the Ship Rock Whitebeam has a number of unique features that make it an interesting species for study. It is believed to be a hybrid species that is a cross between the Rowan tree (Sorbus aucuparia) and the Service tree (Sorbus torminalis). This hybridization is thought to have occurred in the past as a result of the introduction of the Service tree to the area by humans.

The Ship Rock Whitebeam is a valuable species for the conservation of biodiversity and has been the subject of research for many years. Conservation efforts have been undertaken to protect the species and to ensure its survival in the wild. This includes the creation of seed collections, the planting of new individuals, and the management of its habitat to ensure that it is protected from any potential threats.

The Ship Rock Whitebeam is a unique and fascinating species that is of great importance for the conservation of biodiversity. Its rarity and limited distribution make it an important species to protect and conserve for future generations.

In addition to its conservation importance, the Ship Rock Whitebeam also has cultural significance. The species is considered to be a symbol of the beauty and natural heritage of the Isle of Arran. The tree is also associated with local folklore and traditions and has been used in the production of traditional crafts, such as walking sticks and wooden spoons.

Despite its rarity and cultural significance, the Ship Rock Whitebeam is still vulnerable to threats such as disease, habitat loss, and climate change. It is important to continue monitoring the species and taking steps to protect it from these threats in order to ensure its survival.

One of the challenges in conserving the Ship Rock Whitebeam is its limited distribution. The species is only found in a small area surrounding the “Ship Rock” on the Isle of Arran, and its habitat is highly fragmented. This makes it vulnerable to local threats and makes it difficult to manage and conserve the species.

To overcome this challenge, conservation efforts need to focus on improving the habitat and ensuring that the species is protected from potential threats. This can be achieved by controlling the spread of invasive species, protecting the tree from damage, and monitoring its population and health.

The Ship Rock Whitebeam is a rare and valuable species that requires conservation efforts to ensure its survival. Its cultural significance, unique features, and limited distribution make it a species of great importance for the protection of biodiversity. By taking steps to protect and conserve this species, we can ensure that it will continue to be a part of the natural heritage of the Isle of Arran for future generations.

In addition to its importance for conservation and culture, the Ship Rock Whitebeam also has ecological significance. This species is an important component of the ecosystem of the Isle of Arran, providing habitat for a wide range of wildlife and playing a role in the cycling of nutrients and energy in the ecosystem.

The Ship Rock Whitebeam provides habitat for many species of birds and small mammals, such as the red squirrel, which feed on its fruits. In addition, its flowers are a source of nectar for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and its leaves provide food for various species of insects. This makes the tree an important part of the food web in the region.

The Ship Rock Whitebeam is also an important source of wood and can be used for a variety of purposes. The wood of this species is strong, durable, and has a beautiful grain, making it a valuable resource for the local community. The tree can be used for firewood, furniture, and other crafts, and has been harvested for these purposes for many years.

However, it is important to ensure that the harvesting of this species is sustainable and that the population is not negatively impacted by over-exploitation. Careful management and monitoring of the species is needed to ensure that its ecological role is not disrupted and that it can continue to provide benefits for both wildlife and humans.

In conclusion, the Ship Rock Whitebeam is an important species for the ecosystem of the Isle of Arran, playing a role in the food web, providing habitat, and contributing to the cycling of nutrients and energy in the ecosystem. It is also a valuable resource for the local community, providing wood and other benefits. To ensure that this species continues to play its role in the ecosystem, it is important to protect and conserve it and to manage it in a sustainable manner.