Rowan Sorbus 'Ghose'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
mountain ash 'Ghose'


Sorbus 'Ghose', commonly known as rowan or mountain ash, is a deciduous plant characterized by its appealing visual features. This plant typically bears pinnate leaves that are comprised of multiple leaflets arranged on either side of a central stem. The leaflets generally display a vibrant green hue which can transform into striking shades of red and orange during the autumn season, providing a display of fall color before they fall off. The rowan is well-noted for its clusters of blooms which typically emerge in the spring. These flowers are usually small and white, and they are formed in dense corymbs, creating an attractive contrast against the green foliage. Following the flowering period, the plant produces berries. These berries are usually bright red or orange, adding a splash of color to the plant's appearance, and they are known for attracting various bird species. The bark of the rowan exhibits a smooth texture and can have a gray to silver-brown coloration, which adds further interest to the visual profile of the plant. The branching structure is typically upright and may exhibit a spreading habit, giving the plant a balanced and aesthetically pleasing shape. Overall, Sorbus 'Ghose' is appreciated for its ornamental leaves, showy clusters of flowers, vibrant berries, and attractive bark, which contribute to its popularity in ornamental gardening and landscape design.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Ghost Mountain Ash, Ghost Rowan

    • Common names

      Sorbus 'Ghose'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sorbus 'Ghose', commonly known as a cultivar of Rowan or Mountain Ash, does not have well-documented specific toxicity information under that cultivar name. Generally, the berries of some Sorbus species can be mildly toxic when eaten raw in large quantities, potentially causing stomach upset or other digestive issues. Other parts of the plant, such as leaves, are not commonly consumed. It is always best to err on the side of caution and not consume any parts of ornamental plants without verified edibility information.

    • To pets

      For pets, the Rowan or Mountain Ash, represented by the cultivar Sorbus 'Ghose', may also pose similar risks as it does to humans. Consuming the berries in large quantities could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset in pets, such as vomiting or diarrhea. It is advisable to prevent pets from ingesting any part of these plants, as their sensitivity to the potentially toxic components could be greater than that of humans.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      15-20 feet (4.5-6 meters)

    • Spread

      15-20 feet (4.5-6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Sorbus 'Ghose', commonly known as Rowan or Mountain Ash, adds visual interest to a garden with its attractive foliage, flowers, and berries.
    • Seasonal Interest: This plant offers year-round interest, with blossoms in spring, berries in summer and autumn, and sometimes colorful foliage in the fall.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The berries produced by the Rowan are a valuable food source for birds, particularly in winter months.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, the 'Ghose' variety can be quite resistant to periods of drought, requiring less frequent watering.
    • Pollinator Friendly: Sorbus 'Ghose' flowers are attractive to bees and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity within its surroundings.
    • Adaptability: This variety can adapt to a wide range of soil types, though it prefers well-drained conditions.
    • Compact Growth: Being a cultivar, Sorbus 'Ghose' may have a more compact growth habit, which can be advantageous for smaller gardens or landscaped urban areas.
    • Cultivar Interest: As a specific cultivar, Sorbus 'Ghose' offers unique characteristics that may differ from the species, such as berry color, leaf shape, or growth habits, which can be desirable for collectors and horticulturists.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Woodworking: The wood of Sorbus trees, including the 'Ghose' variety, can be used for fine woodworking projects, such as turning to create small decorative objects or tool handles due to its hardness and attractive grain.
    • Wildlife Shelter: Sorbus 'Ghose' can provide shelter and nesting sites for birds within its branches, contributing to local biodiversity.
    • Ink Production: The berries of the Sorbus 'Ghose' can be used in the homemade production of natural inks and dyes, offering a range of colors from muted reds to purples depending on the mordant used.
    • Fermented Beverages: Fermenting the berries of Sorbus 'Ghose' can result in home-brewed wines or ciders, although they must be used with caution due to potential toxicity before proper processing.
    • Craft Material: Dried branches and berries of Sorbus 'Ghose' can be incorporated into craft projects, like wreaths and dried flower arrangements, for their aesthetic appeal.
    • Photography Subject: The striking appearance of Sorbus 'Ghose', especially during the autumn when its leaves change color, makes it an excellent subject for nature and landscape photographers.
    • Barrier Planting: Sorbus 'Ghose' can be planted in rows to create natural fencing or property boundaries, serving as a barrier as well as a windbreak.
    • Landscape Design: The ornamental qualities of Sorbus 'Ghose', such as its spring flowers and bright fall foliage, make it useful in garden and landscape design for seasonal interest.
    • Natural Play Structures: Robust branches of Sorbus 'Ghose' can be used to create components of natural play areas for children, such as balance beams or climbing features.
    • Leaf Pressing: Leaves of Sorbus 'Ghose' can be collected and pressed for use in botanical artwork or as educational materials to study leaf shapes and vein structures.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Sorbus 'Ghose', commonly known as Mountain Ash or Rowan, is associated with protective qualities in Feng Shui. It is often used to ward off negative energy and can be planted in the garden to bring protection to the home. Rowan trees are also said to promote wisdom, clear thinking, and guidance.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Mountain Ash or Rowan is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: The Sorbus tree, commonly known as Rowan or Mountain Ash, has long been believed to ward off evil and protect against harm.
    • Wisdom: Rowan is often associated with wisdom and knowledge, possibly because of its high place in the tree canopy, close to the sky.
    • Balance: The tree's ability to grow in difficult terrains and climates symbolizes balance and endurance in life.
    • Magic: In Celtic mythology, the Rowan tree was considered magical, full of mystical power that could enhance one's ability to perceive the unseen.
    • Guidance: Rowan's association with magical powers also extends to guidance, providing insight and direction to those seeking their path.
    • Healing: Traditionally, parts of the Rowan tree were used for healing purposes, symbolizing the plant's potential to restore health.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Rowan trees like the Sorbus 'Ghose' prefer to be watered deeply but infrequently, with the goal of maintaining moist, but not waterlogged, soil. Establishing trees should be watered once a week with about 15-20 gallons of water, especially during dry spells. Mature trees need less frequent watering; you can cut back to every two to three weeks or even less if there's sufficient rain. Always check the soil moisture by feeling the soil a few inches down; if it's dry, it's time to water. Avoiding overhead watering is important to prevent fungal diseases, so aim the water at the base of the tree.

  • sunLight

    Rowan, or Mountain Ash trees such as Sorbus 'Ghose' thrive in full sunlight, which means they require at least six hours of direct, unfiltered light daily. They can tolerate light shade but their flowering and fruiting potential is maximized with full sun exposure. The best spot for these trees would be an open area away from larger trees that may shade them.

  • thermometerTemperature

    For a Mountain Ash like Sorbus 'Ghose', the ideal temperature conditions fall between 50°F and 75°F, which encourages healthy growth. They can endure winter temperatures down well below freezing, often as low as -30°F, but they are generally not tolerant of high heat, especially if temperatures exceed 85°F for prolonged periods. They are hardy in USDA Zones 2 through 7, which should be taken into account when considering plant placement.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning a Mountain Ash like Sorbus 'Ghose' is important to remove dead or damaged branches, to maintain a strong tree structure, and to encourage airflow which reduces the risk of disease. The best time for heavy pruning is late winter or early spring before new growth starts, but you can remove deadwood at any time. It's typically done annually or every few years depending on the tree's health and appearance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Mountain Ash requires well-drained soil with a mix of loam, peat, and sand ensuring good aeration and drainage. Ideal soil pH is slightly acidic to neutral, around 5.5 to 7.0. A balance of moisture retention and drainage is key for healthy root growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Rowan trees, such as the Sorbus 'Ghose', are not commonly repotted as they are typically grown outdoors. They may require transplanting every few years if grown in a container, depending on growth rate and pot size.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Rowan trees like Sorbus 'Ghose' are adaptable and do not require specific humidity levels. They thrive in average outdoor humidity conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and ensure pot has drainage holes.

    • Outdoor

      Choose sunny location, protect roots with mulch, water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Sorbus 'Ghose', commonly known as the 'Ghost Rowan', starts its life cycle as a seed, usually resulting from cross-pollination between parent plants. Once germinated in favorable soil conditions, it begins the seedling phase, establishing roots and a simple shoot. As it matures, the Ghost Rowan transitions into a juvenile sapling, developing compound leaves and a more robust stem structure. Upon reaching adulthood, the tree blooms with clusters of white flowers in spring, which, if pollinated by insects, will produce bright red-orange berries by autumn. These berries serve as a dispersal mechanism as birds and other animals eat them and excrete the seeds elsewhere. As a perennial, the Ghost Rowan can live for several decades, going through annual cycles of growth, flowering, and dormancy through winter until it eventually reaches the end of its life span.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The propagation of the Sorbus, commonly known as Rowan or Mountain Ash, is typically done through seed stratification followed by planting. The most popular method involves collecting the berries in the fall and extracting the seeds. The extracted seeds require a period of cold stratification, which means they need to be mixed with moist sand and stored in the refrigerator for approximately 18-21 weeks (about 4-5 months), mimicking the natural period of winter dormancy. After this period, the seeds are sown in trays or pots containing well-draining soil mix under cold frames as the temperatures start to rise in spring. It's crucial to keep the soil consistently moist during germination and the early growth period of the seedlings. Once the seedlings are strong enough and have developed their first set of true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots or a designated nursery area in the garden to grow on before finally being planted out in their permanent positions.