The Rowan of the birds
The genus Sorbus has numerous species of large shrubs and small trees, originating in Europe, throughout the Mediterranean area and in Asia, some species are indigenous to the new world. These are easy-to-grow deciduous shrubs; the leaves, pinnate, consist of small oval leaflets, generally with indented margin, are dark green in color, and take on all shades of yellow and orange before falling in autumn. Some species instead have simple, oval, shiny leaves; There are also rowans with silver-gray foliage.
Flowers and fruits of the rowan
In late spring they produce small star-shaped flowers, white in color, gathered umbrella-like inflorescences, sometimes hanging; the flowers are followed by small round fruits, with an acid pulp, very rich in vitamins and minerals. At one time, the rowans were cultivated precisely for the fruits, which ripen in the autumn, and were one of the few available sources of vitamin C, especially in the areas of central and northern Europe and Asia. Nowadays, small sorbus apples are only consumed by animals, which can also be found in the cold winter months.
One of the most famous species, sorbus aucuparia, is called the bird's rowan, given the use that is made of it as a bird call: its small colored fruits attract birds in the autumn and winter months.