SORBUS DECORA (Sarg.)
SYNONYM: Pyrus decora (Sarg.) C.K. Schneid.
HABIT: Shrub or small tree to 10 m.; flowering May,
June; fruiting September- November.
SIMILAR SPECIES: This species is very similar to the
European mountain ash, Pyrus aucuparia. Distinction can be made as
follows: S. decora has acute leaflets 2-3 times as long as wide; winter
buds glutinuous; inner bud scales conspicuously brown-ciliate; hypanthium
glabrous. P. aucuparia has the lower leaf surfaces, the inflorescence
branches, and hypanthia all densely white-villous.
TOTAL RANGE: Greenld., Lab., and Nfld. to MN, s. to NY, OH,
IN, IA, and ascending to subalpine areas.
STATE RANGE: Extant only in Ashtabula and Geauga counties.
There are pre-1960 collections from Trumbull County and a strangely disjunct
population in Licking County.
STATE STATUS: 1980-Endangered, 1982-E, 1984-E.
HABITAT: Swampy or damp woods and borders, rocky slopes, shores.
HAZARDS: Extended soil saturation, overshading through
succession, competition against seedlings by dense herbaceous growth, deer
RECOVERY POTENTIAL: Unknown, presumed good if introduced
into suitable habitat in extreme northeast Ohio. Otherwise presumed poor.
INVENTORY GUIDELINES: Collect mature flowering or fruiting
branchlets or winter twigs.
COMMENTS: Some authors raise the subgenera of Pyrus
to generic level (see Synonym). However, this appears to be a distinct taxon,
whether considered under Pyrus or Sorbus.
This is normally a northern species of the
sub-climax to climax northern coniferous forests. It is often associated with
alder, Labrador-tea, and mountain or red maples. Northern Ohio is the southern
limit of its range.
small tree is easily overlooked or misidentified. The European mountain ash is
adventive in northern Ohio in the same areas and habitats as S. decora.
This species should be sought throughout northern Ohio. It may be more frequent
than the records indicate.
Earby, S. 1974. Mountain ashes. p. 98-101. In: J.D.
Gill and W.M. Healy (eds.). Shrubs and vines for northeastern wildlife. USDA
For. Serv. Tec. Rep. NE-9. 180 p.
Jones, G.N. 1939. A synopsis of the North American species
of Sorbus. J. Arn. Arb. 20: 1-43.
Soper, J.H. and M.L. Heimberger. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada. 495 p.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Created: 11/1983 David P. Emmitt
Database Code: SPLC.861