FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Sorbus aucuparia, rowan

Sorbus aucuparia; the rowan grows in areas which are generally favorable for plant growth. Thus it is missing in the barren highlands. The height this tree can reach depends very much on where it grows - ranging from only two meter at maximum where conditions are poor to over 10 meters where conditions are favorable. It usually grows as single trees in birch stands, usually taller than the birches. This is very unlike mainland Europe where the rowan is an undergrowth tree in forests and forest edges.
In spring it produces umbels of white flowers from which light-red berries develop. These berries are a treat for birds, on Iceland especially for the redwing. It is member of the rose family (Rosaceae). The Icelandic name of this species is ReyniviĆ°ur.

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A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk - unless stated otherwise

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