The Rowan, occurs throughout Europe. Sorbus aucuparia belongs to the Rosaceae. In Scotland it was always planted beside buildings to keep away evil spirits and thus frequently occurs in folklore and in song. In the past the rowan has been used for tanning and dyeing black and orange. The berries are rich in Vitamin C and are made into Rowan jelly to enhance game dishes. Sorbus aucuparia grows in well drained soils and can be found up to the tree line in the Scottish mountains. As noted in song it is one of the first trees to come into flower. The berries are decorative and attract lots of birds. Despite many attractive exotic species our rowan gained an Award of Merit in 1962 and the Award of Garden Merit in 1984.

Other species of Rowan that can be found on the Hill are:-

Sorbus vilmorinii Vilmorin Rowan Rosaceae West China.

This rowan was found and introduced by Abbe Delavay, a Jesuit Priest in 1889. He sent seed to the Vilmorin Nursery in north France, hence its specific name. Delavay's territory was in west Yunnan between the Tali Range and Lichiang. It was subsequently reintroduced from west Yunnan by George Forrest in 1930 during his last expedition. This is a very decorative small tree with a spreading crown. The leaves are rowan-like but smaller and the fruit firstly deep pink turns as it matures to a silvery sheen. It received an Award of Merit in 1916 and the prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1984.

Sorbus 'Joseph Rock' Rosaceae West China.

There is a lot of confusion about this elegant rowan. It was introduced by the American Professor Joseph Rock under his number 23657 from his 1932 expedition to north-west Yunnan. It is thought to be a hybrid, for it does not come true from seed. It has yellow berries and a seedling from it, named Sorbus 'Sunshine', also has bright yellow fruit. Sorbus 'Joseph Rock' is a medium sized tree and has been widely acclaimed for its autumn colour. It received a First Class Certificate in 1962 and an Award of Garden Merit in 1984. It seems though, it is susceptible to fireblight.