Sorbus hupehensis

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Sorbus hupehensis
Sorbus hupehensis Morton 22-97-1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Sorbus
Subgenus: Sorbus subg. Sorbus
S. hupehensis
Binomial name
Sorbus hupehensis

Sorbus hupehensis (Hupeh rowan[1] or Hubei rowan; Chinese: 湖北花楸; pinyin: hubei huaqiu; lit. 'Hubei rowan') is a species of rowan native to central and western China (between Qinghai and Gansu in the west, Yunnan in the south, Jiangxi in the southeast, and Shandong in the east).[2]

It is a small deciduous tree growing to 5–10 m tall, with grey-brown to purplish-brown bark. The branches and shoots are slender. The leaves are green above, paler beneath, 10–15 cm long, pinnate with 7-17 narrow oval leaflets 3–5 cm long and 1–1.8 cm broad, with an acute apex, and serrated margins. They change to orange or red in autumn. The flowers are 5–7 mm diameter, with five white petals and 20 yellowish-white stamens; they are produced in corymbs 6–10 cm diameter in late spring to early summer. The fruit is a pome 5–8 mm diameter, bright pink with persistent sepals, maturing in late autumn.[2]

There are two varieties:[2]

  • Sorbus hupehensis var. hupehensis. Leaves with 9-17 narrow leaflets. Most of the species' range.
  • Sorbus hupehensis var. paucijuga (D.K.Zang & P.C.Huang) L.T.Lu. Leaves with 7-9 broad leaflets. Shandong Province.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

It is grown as an ornamental tree, valued for its white fruit contrasting with the orange autumn colour.

In cultivation, it has often been confused with the related Sorbus glabrescens (white-fruited rowan) and Sorbus oligodonta (kite-leaf rowan) from southwestern China. The former differs in being a larger tree (to 15 m) with stouter shoots and larger leaves, the latter in having pale pink fruit; both are tetraploid apomictic species which breed true. The cultivar 'Pink Pagoda', often cited as belonging to S. hupehensis, is of S. oligodonta.[3]


  1. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ a b c Lu Lingdi and Stephen A. Spongberg. "Sorbus hupehensis". Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  3. ^ Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.