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Hupeh Rowan

Sorbus glabriuscula

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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, 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, 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, parks, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Clusters of white flowers, sometimes tinged pink.
White berries, sometimes tinged pink.
Large, bluish-green, pinnate leaves (up to 26cm long) with 11 to 17 leaflets. The leaflets have toothed margins. The leaves turn red in autumn.
Other Names:
Chinese Rowan, Glabrous Mountain Ash, Smooth Mountain Ash, Smooth-leaved Rowan.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Sorbus glabriuscula, also known as "smooth mountain ash" or "smooth-leaved rowan", is a species of deciduous tree or shrub that is native to mountainous regions of Europe, from Norway and Sweden to the Pyrenees and the Balkans. It grows up to 15 meters tall and produces white flowers in the spring, followed by clusters of red, edible berries in the fall. The leaves are small, glossy and have smooth margin. It is hardy in cold climates and can tolerate a wide range of soil types. Sorbus glabriuscula is often used as an ornamental tree in gardens and parks. The berry can also be used for jams, jellies, pies, wine and liqueurs.


Hupeh Rowan, also known as Sorbus glabriuscula, is a deciduous tree that is native to the Hupeh province in China. It is a member of the rose family, and it is known for its beautiful foliage and fruit.

The Hupeh Rowan is a relatively small tree, typically growing to a height of 20 to 30 feet. It has a slender trunk, and its branches are covered with smooth, grayish-brown bark. The leaves of the Hupeh Rowan are pinnate, with 11 to 19 leaflets that are oval-shaped and pointed. They are a deep green color in the summer and turn a beautiful yellow-orange in the fall.

In the spring, the Hupeh Rowan produces clusters of small, white flowers that are highly fragrant. These flowers are followed by bright red berries that ripen in the fall. The berries are a favorite food of birds and other wildlife, and they can also be used to make jams and jellies.

One of the reasons that the Hupeh Rowan is so highly prized is that it is highly resistant to disease and pests. It is also very adaptable to a wide range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. Additionally, it can tolerate both full sun and partial shade, making it a great choice for a wide range of landscapes.

Another great feature of the Hupeh Rowan is its ability to attract a variety of wildlife. The tree's flowers and berries are highly attractive to pollinators and birds, making it an important part of any wildlife-friendly landscape.

If you are interested in adding a Hupeh Rowan to your landscape, you can find them at many nurseries and garden centers. They are relatively easy to grow, and they require minimal maintenance once established.

The Hupeh Rowan is not only beautiful and functional, but it also has cultural and medicinal significance. In China, the tree has been grown for centuries for its edible fruit, which is commonly used in traditional medicine to treat digestive and respiratory issues. The bark of the tree has also been used in traditional medicine to treat fever and inflammation.

Beyond its uses in traditional medicine, the Hupeh Rowan has been used in many cultural contexts. For example, it has been used in Chinese folklore as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. In addition, the Hupeh Rowan has been used in urban planning and landscaping projects in China to help combat air pollution and improve air quality.

As a landscape tree, the Hupeh Rowan is highly versatile and can be used in a variety of settings. Its upright, narrow form makes it a good choice for smaller gardens and urban landscapes, while its dense foliage and vibrant fall color make it a beautiful addition to larger landscapes. The Hupeh Rowan is also suitable for use in mixed borders, as well as in wildlife gardens, where it can provide a valuable source of food and habitat for birds and other wildlife.

In terms of care, the Hupeh Rowan is relatively low-maintenance. It prefers a well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter, but it can tolerate a range of soil types. It is also relatively drought-tolerant once established, but it will benefit from occasional deep watering during dry periods.

In terms of pests and diseases, the Hupeh Rowan is relatively resistant, but it may be susceptible to fire blight, apple scab, and powdery mildew. Regular pruning and proper cultural practices, such as ensuring adequate air circulation around the tree, can help prevent these issues.

Overall, the Hupeh Rowan is a beautiful and valuable tree that deserves consideration in any landscape. Its attractive foliage, fragrant flowers, and vibrant fruit make it a standout in any season, while its versatility and low-maintenance requirements make it a great choice for a wide range of settings.

The Hupeh Rowan is also an important tree for conservation efforts, particularly in its native range in China. In recent years, deforestation and other human activities have threatened the survival of the Hupeh Rowan and other species in the region. As a result, conservation organizations and government agencies in China have been working to protect and restore the tree's habitat, and to promote its use in reforestation and landscaping projects.

In addition, the Hupeh Rowan is an important species for scientific research. Its genome has been sequenced, and studies have been conducted to investigate its potential as a source of genetic diversity for other tree species.

For gardeners and landscapers interested in incorporating the Hupeh Rowan into their landscapes, there are several cultivars available that offer unique features. For example, the cultivar 'Chinese Lace' has finely dissected leaves that give it a delicate, lacy appearance, while the cultivar 'Sheerwater Seedling' has a more upright form and bright red berries that persist well into the winter months.

In summary, the Hupeh Rowan is a beautiful and versatile tree that has cultural, medicinal, and ecological significance. Its adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions, as well as its low-maintenance requirements and resistance to pests and diseases, make it an attractive choice for gardeners and landscapers. Whether used in mixed borders, urban landscapes, or wildlife gardens, the Hupeh Rowan is sure to add beauty and value to any landscape.