name = Whitebeam

image_width = 270px
image_caption = Common Whitebeam flowers
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Rosales
familia = Rosaceae
subfamilia = Maloideae
genus = "Sorbus"
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 Rosaceae family, 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 Europe are 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 Europe and Asia in 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 Lepidoptera species including Short-cloaked Moth.

The wood is 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 Saxon word for 'tree'.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whitebeam — White beam , n. (Bot.) The common beam tree of England ({Pyrus Aria}); so called from the white, woolly under surface of the leaves. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whitebeam — miltingasis šermukšnis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Erškėtinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, medieninis augalas (Sorbus aria), paplitęs šiaurės Afrikoje, pietvakarių Azijoje, pietų ir vidurio Europoje. atitikmenys: lot. Sorbus aria angl. chess… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Whitebeam — Two varieties are of interest here: the common whitebeam (Sorbus aria), and Swedish whitebeam (S. intermedia = S. suecica). They bear distinctive white flowers and their leaves are generally lighter than other deciduous trees such as beech, birch …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • whitebeam — naminis šermukšnis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Erškėtinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, maistinis, medieninis, vaisinis, vaistinis augalas (Sorbus domestica), paplitęs šiaurės Afrikoje, pietvakarių Azijoje ir pietų Europoje; naudojamas gėrimams …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • whitebeam — šermukšnis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Erškėtinių (Rosaceae) šeimos augalų gentis (Sorbus). atitikmenys: lot. Sorbus angl. mountain ash; rowan tree; service tree; whitebeam vok. Eberesche; Mehlbeere; Sorbus; Vogelbeerbaum; Vogelbeere… …   Dekoratyvinių augalų vardynas

  • whitebeam — šermukšnis statusas T sritis augalininkystė apibrėžtis Sėklavaisinių augalų gentis, priklausanti erškėtinių (Rosaceae) šeimai. Gentyje yra kelios dešimtys rūšių, vertingų dekoratyvių, vaistinių ir vaisinių augalų. Vaisiai vartojami sultims,… …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • whitebeam — /hwuyt beem , wuyt /, n. a European tree, Sorbus aria, of the rose family, having leathery leaves, showy, white flowers, and mealy, orange red or scarlet fruit. [1695 1705; WHITE + BEAM] * * * …   Universalium

  • whitebeam — noun Any of various deciduous trees of the genus Sorbus native to Eurasia …   Wiktionary

  • whitebeam — noun a tree related to the rowan, with red berries and hairy oval leaves that are white underneath. [Sorbus aria.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • whitebeam — white·beam …   English syllables

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