Rowan Leaf

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Height:           8-15m

Flowers:    May-June

Fruit:         Sept-Nov 

Age:  up to 60 years

Overview: The Rowan is an attractive, slender tree with silvery-brown bark, creamy-white spring flowers and clusters of brilliant scarlet autumn berries. It is sometimes better known as the Mountain Ash, due to the fact that it can be common higher up the slopes than any other trees. This tree like the Hawthorn is very important to wildlife in that it produces an abundance of flowers in spring and then berries in the autumn.

Leaf Shape: Compound (similar to the Ash), but usually 15 leaflets arranged in pairs with a single leaf at the end/tip. Each leaflet is around 5cm long with teeth/serrations on the edges.

Where found:  There are a number of trees dotted around Shieling Holidays, the best one being on the top field near the stone seat by Shieling Number 2 (Map D3).

Uses past and present: The wood is tough and strong, and was traditionally used for handles of tools, cart-wheels and planks or beams. Rowan berries can be eaten by humans and can be used to make jellies to accompany meat.
The rowan has many associations with magic and witches. Its old Celtic name is 'fid na ndruad' which means wizards tree. In Scotland there was a strong taboo against cutting down a rowan. The wood was seen as the most protective part and was used for stirring milk (to prevent it curdling), as a pocket charm against rheumatism and made into divining rods.

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Sorbus aucuparia