Image for Showy Mountain-Ash

Showy Mountain-Ash

Scientific name

Sorbus decora


The Showy Mountain Ash is a fast growing, deciduous tree which is often planted as an ornamental due to its colourful flowers and berries. This species grows from a straight, narrow, branchless trunk that gives way to a narrow crown, reaching a height of 15m. The bark can be greyish-green or golden-brown and turns scaly with age. As the tree ages, the crown spreads and opens to a more rounded form. Leaves produced are compound with 13-17 leaflets arranged alternately along the branches. Leaves are a vibrant light green and the narrowly elliptical leaflets have tapered tips and fine teeth from tip to middle. During the fall, the foliage turns bright yellow to red. Early in the spring, showy, white flowers bloom in clusters on the terminal ends of branches. They produce large clusters of red berries that remain on the tree throughout the winter. These berries provide an important winter food source for overwintering birds and mammals.

Planting conditions

American Mountain Ash prefers moist soils and is adaptable to a variety of soil types, including sand, loam, clay, and poor rocky materials. It grows best in full sun or part shade conditions. American Mountain Ash can be found growing naturally in moist woods and along lakeshores.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
    • Shade
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 2a
    • 2b
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 15m
  • Spread:
    • 3m