Origin: Natural hybrid from Europe
Swedish whitebeam is a small tree, occasionally a shrub, with a wide, short trunk.Read more about Tree, Bark, Twigs
Leaves have small, pinnate lobes and dense woolly hairs on the underside.Read more about Leaves
Small white flowers are borne in flat-topped clusters.Read more about Flowers
Fruits are red, oval and fleshy.Read more about Fruit
Leaves are glossy green on the upper surface and denesly white-wooly haired on the underside and on the short stalk.
Swedish whitebeam is native to northwestern Europe and can withstand harsh climatic conditions. It has long been planted as a cultivated tree in Europe and has become naturalised in Great Britain.
Swedish whitebeam is a triple hybrid, the result of cross-breeding between three species: common mountain-ash (Sorbus aucuparia), whitebeam (Sorbus aria), and wild service-tree (Sorbus torminalis).
Derivation of names
The genus name, Sorbus, is the classical Latin name of the mountain-ash, a close relative of whitebeams. The species name, intermedia, indicates that, as a hybrid, Swedish whitebeam has characteristics intermediate to those of its parent species.
Swedish whitebeam is similar to Finnish whitebeam (also known as Swedish service-tree, Sorbus hybrida) which has similarly lobed leaves except that the lobes at the base have transformed into small leaflets.
Swedish whitebeam fruits are eaten by birds, which distribute the seeds.
Swedish whitebeam's place in Toronto's urban forest
Swedish whitebeam is occasionally planted in Toronto's parks and cemeteries but is not as common as the closely related mountain ashes.
Landscape value and potential for home planting
Swedish whitebeam's flowers and fruits make it an attractiv ornamental tree for for home planting. Its small size makes it suitable for home planting. It is tolerant of urban conditions.
Pests and diseases:
Find trees on Tree Tour maps at Canadian Tree Tours: