European mountain ash, or Rowan tree, is a small, 20 to 40 feet tall with white, flat-topped flowers, smooth gray bark, and clusters of bright red, persistent fruits. Native to cooler climates of Europe and Asia, often prone to many insect and disease problems when grown in warm climates. May be difficult to find in nursery trade.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Shade tree
- Medium tree (25-40 feet),
- Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & form
A small tree, 20 to 40 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide.
A short-lived tree, best grown in cool climates.
Tree & Plant Care
Plant in a cool moist location. Does best in full sun but will tolerate some shade.
This tree prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soils.
May be difficult to find in nursery trade,
Disease, pests, and problems
Prone to many insect and disease problems
Borers and cankers are serious problems on stressed trees.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to northern Europe and Asia
Attracts birds & Butterflies
Flowers attract butterflies and fruit is a favorite of many bird species.
Bark color and texture
Smooth gray bark with white streaks from lenticels. Older bark is slightly rough.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, pinnately compound (9 to 15 leaflets), slightly serrated leaf margins.
Dull dark green above, paler beneath. Yellow to reddish orange fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
White, 5-petaled flowers in flat-topped clusters in May. Flowers have a slightly unpleasant odor.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Clusters of small, red berry-like fruit (pomes).
The common name Rowan refers to the old Scandinavian word meaning red.
Cultivars and their differences