Grey-leaved whitebeam

Scientific name: Sorbus porrigentiformis

Status: Nationally scarce.

Flowering time: Creamy white flowers May – June. Red berries from September – October.

Description: Smallish tree growing 5-10 metres tall with almost fan-shaped rich green leaves and small crimson fruits that are noticeably wider than long. Typically rooted into cliff crevices in carboniferous limestone.

Social history: Through its ability to hybridise with common whitebeam (Sorbus aria) this tree has played a crucial role in the evolution of many other Sorbus species. Its own origin is uncertain.

Taxonomy: Rosaceae (or rose) family.

Global and national distribution: Endemic to England and Wales.

Threats: Is subject to shading out by other larger tree species as it requires open, sunny sites.

Photographs: © Denice Stout, © Libby Houston.