This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
In Flintshire fruits have been discovered in beds of Neolithic age, proving that this is an ancient species. The Northern Temperate Zone is its home, and it is found in Europe, Madeira, N. and W. Asia, eastwards to the Himalayas, and in N. America. In Great Britain it is found everywhere, except perhaps in Hunts and N. Lincoln. It ascends to 2600 ft. in the Highlands. It is found native in Ireland.
The Rowan Tree grows on hills and in woods, especially in the latter, where it is associated with other woodland shrubs and trees, such as Holly, Cherry, White Beam, Ivy, Elm, Oak, Beech, etc. Owing to the superstitions attaching to it and the efficacy of its supposed virtues, it is probably in very many localities only planted. Rowan trees are familiar sights to the dweller in the town, where they are much planted. They are erect trees with a thick main stem and numerous branches, which arch overhead like those of hawthorn, etc. The pinnate leaves are downy below, and serrate, the leaflets oval-oblong, 12-16, and when old glabrous below.
The flowers are white, in broad cymes, which are dense and compound, and 6-12 in. across. Both the calyx and flower-stalk are villous. The fruits are bright scarlet when ripe in August, subglobose, and contrast strongly with the dark-green foliage, and are pomes, containing 5 cells with 1-2 seeds in each.
Ten to twenty-five feet is the average height of the Mountain Ash.
May to June are the months when its flowers are at their best. It is a perennial, deciduous tree, propagated by seeds.
When the flower opens, the stamens are not ripe. The outer are at first erect, the inner bend inwards, so that the anthers are below the stigmas, which are mature, and project in the centre of the flower. The anthers opening inwards are covered with pollen. The inner ones are bent down, when it is cold, below the stigmas. Even after they open, the outer ones stand above the stigmas incurved toward them. When there are no insects to visit them self-pollination takes place. The stamens are inclined away in warm sunshine from the stigmas, and the honey-ring is visible between and protected by hairs issuing from the base of the style. Insects dipping into the flower for honey touch the stamens and stigmas with the opposite sides of their heads. The small flowers are conspicuous because they are close, and honey is abundant and concealed at the base of the flower. The Rowan is visited by Apis, Andrena, Halictus, Helophilus, Eristalis, Rhingia, Echinomyia, Onesia, Scatophaga, Sepsis, Myopa, Dilopha, Epurcea, Meligethes, Byturus, Attagenus, Agriotes, Dilophus, Corymbites, Li-monius, Cetonia, Melolontha, Malachius, Anespis, Microzoum, Phyl-lobius, Clytus, Adimonia.
The fruit is dispersed by animal agency, being a fleshy pome, scarlet when ripe, and readily eaten and dispersed by birds.
The Mountain Ash grows on rocky ground, being a rock-loving species and addicted to a rock soil, growing on soils derived from various formations, chiefly sand or older rocks.
One stage of Gymnosporangium juniperinum grows on this plant, the second on the juniper.
Leaves are galled by Eriophyes aucuparice. The following fungi, Tympanis conspersa var. mali, Sclerotinia fructigena, Gymnosporangium clavariceforme, Pleurotus atroccerulius, Coryneum beyerinckii, also infest it.
The beetles Phyllobius maculicornis, Apion sorbi, Ptinella denti-collis, Epurcea fiorea, Byturus tomentosus, Phytodecta pallida, the Hymenoptera Crassus septentrionalis, Trichiosmia scolleri, and the Lepidoptera Hedya ocellana, Nepticula oxyacanthella, Semioscopis steinkelleriana, Gelechia leucatella, Argyresthia conjugella, A. sorbi -ella, Ornix scoticella feed upon it.
The second Latin name is from auceps, a fowler. Rowan is from the Norse raun.
This plant is called Mountain Ash, Wild Ash, Caers, Care, Cock-drunks, Dogberry, Field Ash, Fowler's Service, Witch Hazel, Hen drunks, Keer, Quickbeam, Quicken, Rantree, Ranty Berries, Rawn, Roantree, Roddin Tree, Wicken or Wicen Tree, Wickey, Wiggin, Witchwood, Witchen or Witchin, Witty-tree, Wychen, Rowan, Rown-tree, Roynetree, Sap-tree, Wild Service, Quickband, Twickbine, Whicken, Whistle Wood, White Ash, Whitty-tree.
Photo. Flatters & Garnett - Mountain Ash (pyrus Aucuparia, Ehrh.)