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Symond's Yat Whitebeam

Sorbus saxicola

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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, 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
Cliffs, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Flowers are white and appear together in clusters.
The fruit is a red berry.
Oval, toothed leaves which are pointed at the tip. Paler undersides. A critically endangered species which can only be found in small numbers in the Symond's Yat, Wye Valley area of the Forest of Dean.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Sorbus saxicola, commonly known as Symonds Yat Whitebeam, is a species of tree in the Rosaceae family. It is native to the Wye Valley in England and Wales, where it is found in a few small populations. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree, growing up to 15m tall, with a dense, rounded crown. The trunk is usually straight and up to 1m in diameter. The bark is light grey and deeply fissured. The leaves are alternate and oval-shaped, with serrated margins. The flowers are white and arranged in clusters, and the fruit is a small, dark-red pome. It is a rare species, endangered due to habitat loss, and is listed in the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered.


Symonds Yat Whitebeam, Sorbus saxicola, is a unique species of whitebeam tree native to the Symonds Yat region in the Forest of Dean, England. It is a small, slow-growing deciduous tree that can reach up to 10 meters in height, with a dense and spreading canopy.

The leaves of the Symonds Yat Whitebeam are ovate in shape and have a distinctive, glossy green appearance. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow, orange, or red, adding to the tree's ornamental value. The tree produces small, white flowers in the spring, which are followed by clusters of orange-red berries in the fall.

The Symonds Yat Whitebeam is a highly prized tree in horticulture, due to its beauty, rarity, and tolerance for a range of growing conditions. It is a hardy tree that can grow in a variety of soils, from acidic to alkaline, and can even tolerate soil that is poorly drained.

However, despite its resilience, the Symonds Yat Whitebeam is considered to be a rare and endangered species. The species has a limited natural range, and habitat destruction, along with increased human activity in the region, has reduced the size of its population. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve the Symonds Yat Whitebeam, including the planting of saplings in the area and monitoring of the existing trees.

The Symonds Yat Whitebeam is a beautiful and unique tree that is prized for its ornamental value and adaptability. Despite being endangered, it is a resilient species that has the potential to thrive with proper care and protection. Whether you are a horticulturist, a nature enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates the beauty of trees, the Symonds Yat Whitebeam is definitely worth checking out.

The Symonds Yat Whitebeam is not only prized for its beauty, but also for its ecological significance. As a member of the rose family, the tree provides an important source of food and habitat for a range of wildlife species, including birds, insects, and mammals.

One of the most interesting features of the Symonds Yat Whitebeam is its unique branching structure. The branches are thick, sturdy, and grow in a zigzag pattern, making the tree a popular choice for bonsai enthusiasts. The tree's unique branching pattern, along with its attractive leaves, berries, and bark, make it a standout addition to any garden or park.

In addition to its ornamental and ecological values, the Symonds Yat Whitebeam has cultural significance. The tree is indigenous to the Forest of Dean, which has a rich history dating back to the Iron Age. The Forest of Dean has long been a source of timber, food, and recreation, and is now protected as a National Forest Park. The Symonds Yat Whitebeam is an important part of the local heritage, and its preservation is vital to the continued conservation of the region's natural resources.

Symonds Yat Whitebeam is not widely available in nurseries, but it can be obtained through specialty growers and conservation organizations. If you are interested in growing this unique tree, it is important to obtain seeds or saplings from reputable sources, as the tree is protected and should not be taken from the wild.

The Symonds Yat Whitebeam is a tree that has something to offer for everyone - from horticulturists and nature enthusiasts to bonsai lovers and cultural conservationists. Its unique beauty, ecological significance, and cultural heritage make it a tree worth protecting and preserving for future generations.

It is also worth mentioning that the Symonds Yat Whitebeam is a useful tree for forestry and woodland management. The tree has a strong, durable wood that is resistant to rot and decay, making it ideal for use in construction, furniture making, and other wood-based products. The tree is also used as a rootstock for other species of whitebeam, as it is known to be disease-resistant and tolerant to a range of soil conditions.

The conservation of the Symonds Yat Whitebeam is of utmost importance, not only for its ecological significance, but also for its genetic diversity. The tree is a unique species that has evolved over time to adapt to its specific environment. Its genes contain valuable information that can be used to improve other species of whitebeam and other related trees. This is why it is crucial to protect and preserve the Symonds Yat Whitebeam, as its extinction could result in the loss of important genetic information.

In conclusion, the Symonds Yat Whitebeam is a unique and valuable species of tree that has much to offer in terms of ornamental value, ecological significance, cultural heritage, forestry, and genetics. It is a tree worth appreciating and protecting for future generations to enjoy and benefit from. Whether you are a horticulturist, a nature enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of trees, the Symonds Yat Whitebeam is a tree that is well worth learning about.