28. Swedish Whitebeam

(Sorbus intermedia)

Family: Rosaceae


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At the northeast corner of Thomson Hall is a small relative of the common mountain ash: the Swedish Whitebeam. The leaves are green on top and pale grey and hairy underneath. It has small creamy-white flowers borne in tight clusters in April, giving rise to little red berries--especially pretty as the leaves turn yellow in October. It may grow to 50 feet (15 meters) or more in height, but is normally smaller. As its name suggests, it is from northern Europe.


Swedish Whitebeam is grown as an ornamental tree and is valued as an urban street tree. It appears commonly along avenues and in parks. This tree is wind resistant and can be used in windbreaks. It also tolerates salt spray. Birds often forage on the berries on this tree.

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