Western mountain ash is an admirable and beautiful deciduous shrub that is native to the western United States. A member of the rose (Roseaceae) family, mountain ash is a large shrub that forms dense clumps and typically grows between 5′-15′ tall. The pinnately compound leaves have 10-15 shiny, oblong leaflets that are finely toothed on the margins. The small white flowers are arranged in round to flat-topped terminal clusters. Blooms May-July. The flowers are attractive to pollinators. The showy fall fruit clusters are composed of small, glossy, orange-red, apple-like berries (pomes). Although edible the fruit is not generally eaten, but can be used in preserves or wine, or eaten fresh after bletting. The fruit is favored by many bird species (grouse, cedar waxwings, grosbeaks, etc.) that eat the persistent fruit throughout the winter. Foliage is browsed by deer and elk. Mountain ash is not a true ash. True ashes belong to the unrelated genus Fraxinus; however, mountain ash is related to the European mountain ash that is commonly referred to by the common name rowan. Rowans have long been important to Celtic mythology and were/are used by Druids to make staffs, wands, and dowsing rods. The specific epithet, “scopulina” translates to “of rocky places.” Gorgeous fall color! Grows in open, mountainous areas from mid to high elevations. Prefers rich soil with good drainage.
Seed Germination Instructions
90-120 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall.