Sargent's Rowan Sorbus sargentiana

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
Sargent's rowan


Sorbus sargentiana, commonly known as Sargent's Rowan or Sargent's Mountain Ash, is a striking deciduous tree that exhibits a variety of ornamental features throughout the year. The leaves of this tree are pinnate, meaning they consist of several leaflets arranged on either side of a common stalk. The leaflets are broad, with a deep green color on the top and a slightly paler shade beneath. Each leaf can comprise several leaflets, which collectively create a lush, feathery canopy. During the spring, Sargent's Rowan becomes particularly attractive as it produces clusters of small, white flowers that emerge in dense, flat-topped corymbs. These flowers are not only aesthetically pleasing but also exude a pleasant fragrance that can attract bees and other pollinators to the garden. As the blossoms fade, the tree bears its fruit: clusters of bright red to orange berries that provide a striking contrast to the foliage. These berries are a food source for birds and other wildlife, adding to the tree's value in supporting biodiversity. The bark of Sargent's Rowan is another notable feature, being thick and scaly with a greyish-brown color that adds texture and interest, particularly during the winter months when the leaves have fallen. The overall shape of the tree is typically well-rounded, contributing to a robust and balanced silhouette in the landscape. In autumn, the foliage of Sargent's Rowan transforms into a spectacular display of colors, ranging from fiery reds to burnt oranges, which makes it an excellent choice for adding seasonal interest to any garden or park setting. Its robust constitution and the ornamental qualities of its leaves, flowers, fruits, and bark make Sargent's Rowan a cherished species for ornamental planting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Sargent's Rowan, Sargent's Mountain Ash

    • Common names

      Sorbus sargentiana.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Sargent's rowan or Sargent's mountain ash, which is known scientifically as Sorbus sargentiana, is not typically considered toxic to humans. However, the seeds of many species in the Sorbus genus contain a compound called amygdalin, which can release cyanide when metabolized. Ingesting large quantities of seeds from this plant could potentially lead to cyanide poisoning, although the fleshy part of the fruit is generally regarded as safe to eat in small quantities. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include nausea, headaches, dizziness, and in severe cases can progress to difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and even death. Still, poisoning from Sargent's rowan is quite rare, as one would have to consume a large number of seeds to be at risk.

    • To pets

      Sargent's rowan or Sargent's mountain ash, is not commonly listed as one of the poisonous plants to pets. However, it is important to note that, just like in humans, the seeds of Sorbus sargentiana contain amygdalin, which can be metabolized into cyanide. While cases are rare, the ingestion of a significant amount of seeds could lead to cyanide poisoning in pets. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in pets might include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, lethargy, seizures, and potentially collapsing. If you suspect that your pet has ingested a large quantity of seeds from a Sargent's rowan, it's important to seek veterinary attention immediately. The flesh of the fruit itself, if ingested in small amounts, is not typically harmful.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      15-25 feet (4.6-7.6 meters)

    • Spread

      15-20 feet (4.6-6.1 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape Aesthetics: Sorbus sargentiana, commonly known as Sargent's Rowan, is valued for its ornamental appeal, having clusters of white flowers, bright red berries, and vibrant fall foliage that enhance the visual appeal of gardens and landscapes.
    • Habitat Support: The tree provides a source of food and shelter for various birds and wildlife, especially through its berry-like fruits called pomes, which are attractive to many bird species during autumn and winter.
    • Shade and Cooling: Sargent's Rowan can offer shade in gardens and urban environments, contributing to cooler surroundings and creating comfortable outdoor spaces.
    • Erosion Control: With its robust rooting system, it can help stabilize the soil and control erosion on slopes and in areas prone to surface degradation.
    • Pollinator Friendly: The flowers of Sargent's Rowan are a nectar source for bees and other pollinating insects, supporting biodiversity and contributing to the health of local ecosystems.

  • 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

    • Sargent Rowan wood can be utilized in small woodworking projects like crafting tool handles or walking sticks due to its strength and durability.
    • The tree's vibrant autumn foliage makes it an excellent choice for ornamental displays in gardens and parks, creating stunning landscapes.
    • The berries of Sargent Rowan can be used to make natural dyes for textiles, imparting subtle shades of red or purple depending on the mordant used.
    • Bird enthusiasts might plant Sargent Rowan to attract fruit-eating birds, such as thrushes and waxwings, which enjoy the berries.
    • Sargent Rowan's dense foliage can offer a natural privacy screen or windbreak when planted in rows or hedges.
    • The tree is sometimes planted in memorials or cemeteries due to its dignified appearance and the cultural symbolism of protection and safety associated with rowan trees.
    • Wood from the Sargent Rowan is occasionally used in the creation of specialized musical instruments like woodwind instruments for its acoustic properties.
    • Crafted branches and twigs of Sargent Rowan can be used in floral arrangements, particularly in the autumn due to their ornamental berries and leaves.
    • In bonsai culture, the Sargent Rowan can be trained and maintained as a miniature tree, showcasing its attractive form and fruiting characteristics on a small scale.
    • Photographers and artists might specifically seek out Sargent Rowan trees as subjects for artistic projects, inspired by the striking contrast between their berries and foliage.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Sargent's Rowan is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Sargent's Rowan is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: The Sorbus sargentiana, commonly known as Sargent's Rowan or Sargent's Mountain Ash, is often associated with protective qualities due to its close relation to the rowan tree, which was believed to ward off evil in folklore.
    • Survival and Resilience: It can thrive in harsh conditions, symbolizing the ability to endure challenges and persevere.
    • Wisdom: The tree's longevity and perennial nature are often equated with the accumulation of wisdom over time.
    • Healing: Historically, parts of the rowan tree, a relative of Sargent's Mountain Ash, were used for medicinal purposes, leading to a symbolic connection with healing.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Late winter
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Sargent's rowan needs to be watered deeply, making sure the soil is moist to the root area, approximately once a week during the growing season. During hotter and drier periods, you may need to increase the frequency to twice a week, with each watering session consisting of 1-2 gallons depending on the size and maturity of the tree. In the winter months, you can reduce watering since the tree will be dormant and require less moisture. Always check the soil before watering; it should be dry a couple of inches down before you water again to prevent overwatering and root rot.

  • sunLight

    Sargent's rowan thrives best in full sunlight to partial shade. The ideal spot for this plant would be an area where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. This tree can also tolerate light shade, so a spot with some afternoon shade would still be suitable, ensuring healthy growth and abundant flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Sargent's rowan performs well in a wide range of temperatures, withstanding cold down to around -20 degrees Fahrenheit and enjoying maximum temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for this tree would be between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hardy and can adapt to various climatic conditions, making it suitable for many temperate regions.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Sargent’s rowan should be done to maintain its shape, remove any dead or diseased branches, and encourage healthy growth. The best time for pruning is in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Prune sparingly and focus on thinning out crowded areas to permit light and air to reach the inner branches, enhancing the tree's overall health. It's typically sufficient to prune this tree once a year.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Sargent’s Rowan prefers a well-draining, loamy soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. To create the best soil mix, combine garden soil, compost, and a small amount of sand to improve drainage. This soil composition will support healthy growth by ensuring adequate nutrient availability and proper moisture retention.

  • plantRepotting

    Sargent’s Rowan, being a large tree, is not typically repotted. It should be planted in a suitable location where it can grow without the need for repotting. However, if grown in a container, young trees may need to be repotted every 2-3 years until they are established enough to be planted out.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sargent’s Rowan is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and does not have specific humidity requirements. As an outdoor tree, it adapts well to the ambient humidity present in its growing environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Growing Sargent's Rowan indoors is not feasible due to its size.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade, ensure well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      6-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Sorbus sargentiana, commonly known as Sargent's rowan, begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in the spring after stratification through the cold winter months. The seedling then develops primary leaves and a taproot, and over the years, it grows into a sapling, forming a woody stem and a more extensive root system. As the plant matures into an adult tree, it produces compound leaves and in late spring to early summer, clusters of white flowers bloom which are pollinated by insects. Following pollination, these flowers develop into red berries known as pomes by autumn, which are a food source for birds and other wildlife, aiding in seed dispersal. Sargent's rowan continues to grow and can live for many years, periodically flowering and fruiting within its lifespan. The tree eventually reaches senescence, where growth slows, and it becomes more susceptible to environmental stresses, disease, and ultimately dies, completing the cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter

    • Propogation: The most popular method for propagating Sargent's Rowan, which is the common name for Sorbus sargentiana, is by seed. Seeds of Sargent's Rowan should be sown in fall, directly after collection. To prepare the seeds for sowing, clean the pulp away and mix the clean seeds with a moist medium like sand or peat, stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a period of 3-4 months in a process known as stratification. This mimics natural winter conditions, and breaks seed dormancy, enhancing germination rates. After stratification, seeds can be sown in a well-drained seed starting mix, covered lightly with soil, and kept at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) until germination which can take several weeks to months. It is essential to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during this period. Seedlings require care and protection from extreme elements until they are strong enough to be planted out in their permanent positions.