name = Whitebeam
image_width = 270px
image_caption = Common Whitebeam flowers
divisio = Magnoliophyta
genus = "
subgenus = "Aria"
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = "Sorbus" subgenus "Aria"
Sorbus alnifolia" - Korean Whitebeam
Sorbus aria" - Common Whitebeam
Sorbus arranensis" - Arran Whitebeam
Sorbus bristoliensis" - Bristol Gorge Whitebeam
Sorbus devoniensis" - Devon Whitebeam
Sorbus folgneri" - Folgner's Whitebeam
Sorbus intermedia" - Swedish Whitebeam
Sorbus latifolia" - Service Tree of Fontainebleau
Sorbus mougeotii" - Vosges Whitebeam
Sorbus rupicola" - Rock Whitebeam
Sorbus thibetica" - Tibetan Whitebeam
Sorbus vestita" - Himalayan Whitebeam
Plus many other species
"Sorbus" subgenus "Sorbus"
"Sorbus" Other subgenera
The whitebeams are members of the
Rosaceaefamily, in genus " Sorbus" subgenus "Aria". They are deciduous trees with simple or lobed leaves, arranged alternately. They are related to the rowans ("Sorbus" subgenus "Sorbus"), and many of the endemic restricted-range apomictic microspecies of whitebeam in Europeare thought to derive from hybrids between "S. aria" and the European rowan "S. aucuparia"; some are also thought to be hybrids with the Wild Service Tree "S. torminalis", notably the Service Tree of Fontainebleau "Sorbus latifolia" in French woodlands.
The best known species is Common Whitebeam "
Sorbus aria", but several other species from Europeand Asiain particular are widely cultivated as ornamental trees.
The surface of the leaf is an unremarkable mid-green, but the underside is almost white (hence the name) transforming the appearance of the tree in strong winds, as noted by the poet Meredith: "flashing as in gusts the sudden-lighted whitebeam" Meredith, G. (1851). Love in the valley. Line 207. "Poems"] [http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/1400.html] .
The berries are a favourite of
birds, though less palatable (drier, less juicy) than rowan berries. Whitebeams are sometimes used as larval food plants by Lepidopteraspecies including Short-cloaked Moth.
woodis hard, and suited for woodturning, furniture and tool handles, a tough wood that was used to make cogs before the use of iron. It is a deep orange when wet, and pale yellow after drying.
'White' from the colour of the emergent foliage and, later, undersides of the leaves, 'beam' from the
Saxonword for 'tree'.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.