Rowan is a genus of short woody plants in the form of a tree or shrub, which belongs to the family Pink, order Rosaceae. There are about 100 species of this plant around the world, a third of which can be found in Russia.
The Russian name for mountain ash comes from the word "ripple". Most likely, this is due to the fact that its clusters are bright and visible even from a distance. But this name only refers to trees with red and yellow fruits. The widespread black mountain ash has a completely different scientific name - chokeberry, although it also belongs to the Pink family.
Rowan is a unique tree with a branched root system that allows it to grow in a wide variety of latitudes, even in permafrost conditions, and withstand frosts down to -50 degrees Celsius. As a rule, the height of mountain ash is about 4–5 m, but in mild climates there are specimens reaching 15 m in height. In cold and harsh areas, it does not grow taller than 50 cm.
Rowan refers to fruit trees, but its fruits are not berries at all, as is commonly believed, but the so-called false drupes. They have an oval-rounded shape and a pith with seeds, therefore in their structure they are similar to an apple, only much smaller in size. Rowan begins to bear fruit, reaching the age of 7 - 8 years, and often turns out to be a long-liver - some trees live up to 200 years. Rowan, growing for more than 20 years, can yield over 100 kg per year.
Various varieties and hybrids of mountain ash are widespread throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. The most common species in our latitudes is the common mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), which grows in abundance in gardens and forests almost throughout Russia and does not require any special care. Its most popular forms are Nevezhinskaya mountain ash and yellow-fruited mountain ash. In the southern, south-western, less often in the middle regions of Russia, the Crimean large-fruited mountain ash (Sorbus domestica), which is also called domestic, is bred. The peculiarity of this species is the large pear-shaped fruits, reaching 3.5 cm in diameter and 20 g in weight, which have a particularly pleasant taste due to their high sugar content (about 14%).
Rowan grows everywhere throughout the forest and forest-steppe zone of the European part of Russia (with the exception, perhaps, of the Far North), in the mountain-wooded regions of the Crimea and the Caucasus. It can often be found in coniferous and mixed coniferous-deciduous forests, along the shores of lakes and rivers, in fields and along roads. She does not like shady places and mainly grows not in a dense forest thicket, but on the edges and clearings of forests. Rowan is often a decoration of city parks, alleys and squares.