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Stirton's Whitebeam

Sorbus stirtoniana

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, 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:
8 metres tall
Cliffs, woodland.

White, 5 petals
The white flowers of Stirton's Whitebeam appear in clusters.
Clusters of red berries.
Oval leaves with pointed tips and greyish-white beneath. The margins of the leaves are serrated. Very rare. There around around 40 known trees, all situated on the cliffs at Craig Breidden in Montgomeryshire.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Sorbus stirtoniana is a species of tree in the Rosaceae family. It is a small tree, typically growing to 4–6m tall. It is native to East Wales, where it is known as Stirton's Whitebeam. It is considered to be a rare species and is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The leaves are ovate to elliptic in shape, and are 3–6cm long and 1.5–3cm wide. The flowers are white, with 5–7 petals, and are 5–6mm in diameter. The fruits are red pomes, 5–7mm in diameter.


Stirton's Whitebeam: A Rare and Endangered Species of Sorbus

Stirton's Whitebeam, also known as Sorbus stirtoniana, is a rare species of whitebeam tree native to the UK. This tree is known for its distinctive leaves and striking white berries, making it a unique addition to any garden or park. Unfortunately, due to habitat loss and other factors, Stirton's Whitebeam is considered an endangered species and is protected by law.

The Stirton's Whitebeam is a small tree that grows to a height of around 6-8 meters and has a round, spreading crown. Its leaves are large and oval-shaped with serrated edges and a glossy green color. The tree produces clusters of white berries that are especially attractive to birds and other wildlife. The tree is also notable for its distinctive bark, which is smooth and gray with a pattern of horizontal stripes.

This tree is native to the northern UK and is primarily found in the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. It grows in damp, shady valleys and on rocky outcrops, where it is able to thrive in nutrient-rich soil. Stirton's Whitebeam is a slow-growing tree and can take several decades to reach maturity.

The endangerment of Stirton's Whitebeam is largely due to habitat loss and degradation caused by human activities such as deforestation, farming, and urbanization. Climate change and disease have also contributed to the decline of this species. To protect and conserve Stirton's Whitebeam, various conservation organizations are working to preserve its habitat and monitor populations in the wild.

Stirton's Whitebeam is a unique and beautiful tree that deserves our attention and protection. With its striking appearance and significance as an endangered species, it is important that we work to conserve and protect this tree for future generations to enjoy. If you have the opportunity to plant a Stirton's Whitebeam in your garden or park, it is an excellent way to contribute to the conservation of this rare species.

In addition to its conservation, Stirton's Whitebeam also has several practical uses. The tree's wood is hard and durable, making it suitable for use in furniture and construction. The whiteberries produced by the tree are also edible and have a sweet, juicy flavor that is popular with wildlife. They are also used to make a type of jelly or syrup.

It is worth mentioning that Stirton's Whitebeam is not to be confused with the more common Rowan tree, also known as the Mountain Ash. While the two species are similar in appearance, Stirton's Whitebeam is much rarer and has distinct features such as the glossy leaves and white berries.

Despite its endangered status, Stirton's Whitebeam is relatively easy to grow and is suitable for planting in a variety of conditions. The tree prefers well-drained soil and a position in partial shade or full sun. It is also a relatively low-maintenance tree that requires little pruning or care once established.

Stirton's Whitebeam is a unique and valuable tree that deserves our protection and attention. Its striking appearance, practical uses, and significance as an endangered species make it an important species to conserve for future generations. If you have the opportunity to plant a Stirton's Whitebeam, it is an excellent way to support the conservation of this rare and beautiful tree.

Another important aspect to consider in the conservation of Stirton's Whitebeam is its role in the ecosystem. As a native species, Stirton's Whitebeam is an important part of the ecosystem in its native habitat. It provides food and shelter for a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals. Additionally, it helps to maintain the balance of the ecosystem by fixing nitrogen and improving soil quality.

Furthermore, Stirton's Whitebeam is also a valuable genetic resource. Its unique genetic makeup makes it an important source of diversity in the Sorbus genus, which is important for breeding programs aimed at developing disease-resistant and hardy trees.

There are several ways that you can support the conservation of Stirton's Whitebeam. You can contribute to conservation organizations working to protect the species and its habitat, or you can plant a Stirton's Whitebeam in your own garden or park. You can also help to raise awareness about this rare tree by sharing information about it with friends and family.

In conclusion, Stirton's Whitebeam is a unique and valuable species that deserves our protection and support. Its significance as an endangered species, its role in the ecosystem, and its value as a genetic resource make it an important species to conserve for future generations. By supporting the conservation of Stirton's Whitebeam, we can ensure that this rare and beautiful tree will continue to thrive for generations to come.