Common Whitebeam

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Common whitebeam

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Scientific name: Sorbus aria
Common whitebeam is not a common tree, despite its name. It can be found growing wild in a variety of habitats, but is also planted in towns and gardens. Look for shiny, oval leaves with white undersides.

Top facts

Stats

Height: 8-15m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

Common whitebeam is one of a group of closely related, shrubby, whitebeam trees, some of which are very rare. It grows in a variety of habitats, including on cliffs and mountainsides, but is also frequently planted in towns and gardens. Clusters of white flowers appear in late spring and ripen to red fruits which are greedily eaten by birds.

What to look for

Common whitebeam has oval leaves, with serrated edges, that are dark and shiny on top and whitish underneath. It produces five-petalled flowers and red, haw-like fruits.

Where to find

Widespread, but rare in the wild.

Did you know?

One of the rarest UK trees is the Bristol whitebeam (classified as a priority species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework), found only on cliffs in the Avon Gorge and nowhere else in the world.