Sorbus


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Sorbus

 

(mountain ash), a genus of deciduous trees or shrubs of the family Rosaceae. The alternate leaves are oddly pinnate, lobate, or entire. The flowers are in corymbiform inflorescences, and the fruits are pomes with two to five locules.

There are about 50 species (according to other data, about 100), distributed in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Of the greatest significance is the European mountain ash (S. aucuparia)—a tree or shrub with smooth gray bark, oddly pinnate leaves, and white flowers. The red, globose fruits are eaten by birds. In the USSR the European mountain ash is found in the European portion and in the Caucasus; it is cultivated as an ornamental and for its fruits, which are used in the production of confectioneries, medicines, and alcoholic liquors. The species S. sibirica, which is cultivated for the same purposes as the European mountain ash, grows in the northeastern European USSR and in Siberia. The service tree (S. domestica), which grows in the Crimea, the southern part of Western Europe, and the Mediterranean region, is cultivated in orchards. Species with entire or lobate leaves are often separated into independent genera. The commonly cultivated black choke-cherry (S. melanocarpa), which is native to North America, is usually assigned to the genus Aronia.

M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV

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