©Mark Hamblin/2020VISION



Fieldfare with Rowan berries

Fieldfare with Rowan berries ©Richard Steel/2020VISION


Scientific name: Sorbus aucuparia
Often a lone figure on a windswept mountainside or heath, the Rowan tree can stand for up to 200 years. It is well known for its masses of red berries that attract all kinds of birds, including thrushes.

Species information


Height: 8-15m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Rowan is a small tree found on mountains and heathland, and along woodland edges; it is also frequently planted in towns and gardens. It is slender tree, with creamy-white, spring flowers and clusters of bright red, autumn berries - a favourite food of birds, such as visiting Waxwings, Redwings and other thrushes.
By eating the berries, these birds help the tree to disperse its seeds.

How to identify

Rowan has Ash-like leaves (15 leaflets arranged in pairs) with toothed edges. It displays five-petalled, creamy-white flowers in clusters, followed by masses of red berries.



Did you know?

Rowan is also known as 'Mountain Ash' because of the Ash-like shape of its leaves and its preference for upland areas - it is often seen standing as a lone tree in a dramatic, windswept landscape.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts are working to restore and protect our heathlands by promoting good management, clearing encroaching scrub and implementing beneficial grazing regimes. This work is vital if these habitats are to survive; you can help by supporting your local Wildlife Trust and becoming a member or volunteer.