(Sorbus) is a genus of deciduous trees or shrubs of the Rosaceae family. Leaves are alternate from odd-pinnate to lobed and whole. Large, numerous white flowers on the ends of branches are organized into dense corymbose inflorescences, which produce a bright specific aroma. Fruits 2-5-nested, spherical, resemble a small red apple with small seeds.
About 50 (according to other data, about 100) of species distributed in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. The most important is the mountain ash (sorbus aucuparia) – a tree or shrub with a smooth gray bark. Its leaves are odd-pinnate, the flowers are white, the fruits are globose, red, serve as food for birds.
Species with simple whole or lobed leaves are often singled out as independent genera. Sprouted arborean (native to North America), usually referred to as a special kind of aronia. Propagated by seeds (species of mountain ash), cuttings (varietal mountain ash), grafting with a sleeping kidney or cuttings.
In nature there are many varieties of mountain ash.
More precisely about 190, and one third of them grows on the territory of the former Union. Rowan often occurs in Europe, Asia and North America. The most famous is the Sorbus aucuparia or the mountain ash, which grows wild in the forests and gardens throughout the European part of Russia. In the southern regions of the country, the Crimean big-billed rowan (Sorbus domestica) is bred, whose pear-shaped fruit contains almost twice as much sugar as the ordinary ashberry fruit, and reaches a value of 3.5 centimeters in diameter.
For a long time, mountain ash was endowed with magical properties.
She played an important role in the magical acts and beliefs of the ancient Celts, Scandinavians and Slavs. Once upon a time it was believed that cross-stitched crosses of prunes of mountain ash, tied with a red thread, protect from witchcraft and evil eye and provide assistance during military battles. The clusters of mountain ash were hung at the entrance to the dwellings and cattle pens, the leaves of the mountain ash were used to cover the bridal shoes, in the sacred places of the ancient gods grew rowan groves. Perhaps this particular attitude to the mountain ash was caused by the unusual shape of the underside of the rowan berries – the shape of an equilateral five-pointed star, considered in ancient pagan cults, a powerful symbol of protection. Rowan – bitter.
Only until the first frost. After them, sorbic acid glycoside, unpleasant for taste sensations, collapses, and the fruits cease to be bitter. Some varieties of mountain ash, for example, nezhinsky, have a sweetish taste and to cold weather.
Rowanberry fruits are red.
Actually, among the various species of mountain ash, you can find trees with scarlet, pink, orange (mixed mountain ash), cream (Vilmor’s rowan), yellow (mountain ash by Joseph Rock), white (ashberry cashmere) and brown fruits. Especially often such a variety of colors is found among narrow-leaved ornamental mountain ash.
Rowan is contraindicated in pregnancy.
And also when feeding infants with mother’s milk. It is not recommended to use mountain ash and people over 45 years of age.
Among the varieties of rowan, there is aronia blackberry.
Actually, this is not entirely true, as “chokeberry” is Michurin’s special species of aronia (Aronia melanocarpa), which differs from rowan with its set of chromosomes.
You can cook many different dishes from the fruits of mountain ash.
Jam, jam, pastille, marmalade, jelly, kissel, tincture, liqueur, syrup, kvass, vinegar, surrogates of coffee and tea – this is far from a complete list of what can be cooked using the fruits of mountain ash. In addition, the latter are also used in fresh, wet and marinated form. Powder obtained from dried rowan berries can be used as a filling for pies.
The fruits of mountain ash have an antiseptic effect.
More precisely, this effect is allocated sorbic acid, contained in rowan berries.In addition, the fruits of mountain ash contain about 8 percent of sugars, a variety of trace elements, organic acids and vitamins, among which especial is ascorbic acid.
Rowan fruits are used in folk medicine.
As a hemostatic, diaphoretic, diuretic – fruits, flowers and leaves, choleretic, antiscorbutic (decoction of leaves and fruits), laxative and multivitamin (decoction of fruits) funds. An unripe rowan has an opposing effect (it is enough to eat about 50 fruits). Fresh leaves of this plant is used as an antifungal drug (rubbed and applied to affected sites for about a day). Infusions of rowan fruit are also useful in case of heavy menstruation (2 tablespoons of berries per half liter of boiling water). Vitamin drink with dry berries of mountain ash improves complexion.
For winter, you can prepare both fresh and dried mountain ash.
In the first case, the berries are blanched for five minutes, placed in sterile cans and poured with boiling apple juice or well washed and dried put in a freezer, in the second – the berries are dried in the air or in an open oven.
Rowan leaves are able to turn “dead” water into “living” water.
It is known that in ancient times the Russian explorers insisted on the leaves of mountain ash, stagnant and even marsh water. With the help of natural phytoncides, the ashberry leaves disinfected water of poor quality, and two hours later it was already possible to drink it.
Rowan is an inestimable fruit tree.
Actually, it is considered so because of the widespread and rather mediocre quality of the rowan fruit. It is often bred as a decorative tree.
Rowan wood is used for construction work.
In ancient times, from durable and elastic wood, mountain ash made spindles, runes and staves.
Rowan grows well on any soil.
However, the most suitable for it is an easy and fertile land with good drainage. Rowan is not afraid of cold and wind, prefers sunny or, at least, semi-shaded places.