Plants and People Project

American Mountain Ash Sorbus americana

People favor American Mountain Ash in landscaping because it stays small (20 - 30 feet) and has attractive features year round. The compound leaves create a lacy shade canopy. The leaves turn bright yellow in the fall. The small leaflets are easy to clear away when they fall to the ground in the autumn.

In the spring, the tree has beautiful white blooms that are attractive to many pollinators.

In the winter, the orange berry clusters stay on the tree providing food for hungry cedar waxwings and other native birds . The berries are called pomes. Trees of Pennsylvania and the Northeast

There are many interesting folk uses for the wood and the berries have been used for food.

"The berries have been used for domestic remedies (3). For instance ripe berries have been used in a gargle to soothe sore throats, to treat scurvy, as a remedy for hemorrhoids, and as a tonic for malarial fevers (4). The bark was used as an anti-malarial medicine by pioneer doctors because of its close resemblance to the Quinine tree."

Parts of the tree are used for making a black dye.

PLANTS Database info



DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past. Be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

Identification and other facts / More facts


Mountain Ash leaves are compound.
This means a single leaf is the combination of many smaller leaflets.

mountain ash berries

Bright Orange Mountain Ash pomes

Mountain Ash facts and photos

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Posted 7/3/08 Cindy O'Hora