Oakleaf Mountain-Ash

Oakleaf Mountain-Ash – Sorbus x thuringiaca

Oakleaf Mountain-Ash Leaflet

Family Rosaceae – Rose Family; Fruit Trees

Oakleaf mountain-ash takes its common name from its leaf resemblance to those of the oaks (Quercus). The synonym “quercifolia’ also reflects this superficial similarity.

The mountain ash and related species (most often the European Mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia) are sometimes referred to in folklore as “Rowan” trees, but this use has almost disappeared from the modern lexicon. The rowans were thought by the Celts and other primitive peoples of The British Isles to have magical properties.

“Mountain ash, 1804, from rowan-tree, rountree (1548), northern English and Scottish, from a Scandinavian source (cf. O.N. reynir, Swed. Ronn “the rowan”), ultimately from the root of red, in reference to the berries. The rowan “was the tree most often credited with protective magical powers against all effects of witchcraft, not merely in Celtic areas but throughout Britain.” — Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore

Oakleaf Mountain-Ash TreeOakleaf Mountain-ash is 28 years old

Mountain-ash was used extensively by Native Americans for various purposes (5):

  • Algonquin, Quebec, Drug (Cold Remedy); Infusion of inner bark taken for colds.
  • Algonquin, Tete-de-Boule Drug (Psychological Aid); Buds and inner bark boiled and used for depression.
  • Iroquois Drug (Gastrointestinal Aid); Fruit used to facilitate digestion.
  • Malecite Drug (Analgesic); Infusion of bark used for pain after childbirth.
  • Micmac Drug (Gastrointestinal Aid); Infusion of root taken for colic.
  • Ojibwa Drug (Venereal Aid); Infusion of root bark taken for gonorrhea.
  • Penobscot Drug (Emetic); Plant used as an emetic.
  • Algonquin, Quebec Food (Fruit); Fruit used for food.
  • Ojibwa Fiber (Canoe Material); Wood used to make ribs for canoes, snowshoe frames.

2. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.  Sorbus x thuringiaca (23 October 2007)
3. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.  Mountain-ash (23 October 2007)
5. University of Michigan, Native American Ethnobotany

Family Rosaceae – Rose Family; Fruit Trees
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