Sorbus aucuparia

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaRosaceaeSorbusSorbus aucuparia


A small to medium-sized tree of woods, cliffs, rock outcrops and rocky riversides. It can also be bird-sown from planted trees on waste ground and by railways. It avoids calcareous and heavy soils and dense shade. A sexual species, it flowers and fruits freely. 0-870 m (Helvellyn, Cumberland, and in the Rannoch area, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Eurasian Boreo-temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 3

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.4

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1128

Life form information

Height (cm): 1500

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Mega-, meso- and microphanerophyte



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2472

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 749

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0.86

Weighted Changed Factor: 28

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (131c)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Raspé O, Findlay C, Jacquemart AL
2000.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 214. Sorbus aucuparia L. Journal of Ecology. 88:910-930.