Sorbus torminalis (L.) Crantz - Wild Service-tree, Checker Tree.

Taxonomic position.

Family Rosaceae Juss. genus Sorbus L.


Crataegus torminalis L., Pyrus torminalis L., Hahnia torminalis Medik.

Morphology and biology.

Deciduous tree 12-25 m tall, often develops shrub-like forms. Buds glabrous. Leaves ovate, 5-10 cm wide and 16-18 cm long, slightly cordate or cuneate at base, with 3-5 acute lobes. Sometimes lowermost pair of lobes very acute and deeply dissected, leaves finely acutely dendate at margin, above glabrous, beneath yellow green, glabrous (young pubescent). Petioles 2-5 cm long. Pedicels initially villous-tomentose, later subglabrous. Flowers pentamerous, with strong smell. Calyx 5-divided, more or less tomentose, its teeth triangular. Petals white, patent. Fruits are ovoid or globous, brownish-yellow with white dots. Entomophilous. Ornitho- and zoochore. Flowers in May, mature fruits in September.


Atlantic and Central Europe, Moldavia, Western Ukraine, Crimea (south), Caucasus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iran (north), Africa (north).


Mesophyte. Shade-resistant. Occurs in undergrowth of broad-leaved (oak, hornbeam, less often chestnut, beech) forests, in forest fringes, shrubberies. Reaches the upper tree-line: in Crimea up to 1,100-1,200 m a.s.l, in the Caucasus up to 2,200 m.

Use and economic value.

Medicine, food, ornamental. Wood is used for turning and carving, for handwork. Used as a rootstock for fruit trees.


Grossheim AA. 1952. Flora of Caucasus. 2nd ed. V.5. P.36. (In Russian).
Komarov VL., Zinserling YuD. 1939. Rowan, Whitebeam - Sorbus L. In: Komarov VL., Yuzepchuk SV., eds. Flora URSS. V.9. Moscow; Leningrad. P.405-406. (In Russian).
Sokolov SI., Svjaseva OA., Kubli VA. 1980. Ranges of trees and shrubs of the USSR. V.2. Leningrad: Nauka. P.63. (In Russian).

© I.G.Chukhina


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