Leaves: alternate, pinnate; leaflets seven to fifteen, lanceolate, short-pointed at the apex, sharply serrate, glabrous and dark green above, pale and more or less pubescent beneath. Flowers: white, in terminal compound cymes; calyx-tube urn-shaped, five-lobed, not bracteolate; petals five, spreading, short-clawed. Fruit: a small, red, berry-like pome, bitter.
This is the Rowan Tree of the mountain regions, and a very handsome shrub or tree it is, sometimes attaining a height of twenty feet, but usually growing only from six to fifteen feet high.
The leaves are dark green on the top and a much paler hue beneath. The flower-buds are a delicate shade of creamy pink, and turn white when they expand in the sunshine, the wide-open blossoms having a darkened appearance in their centres, caused by the numerous stamens. This shrub is found at great altitudes, growing close to the edge of perpetual snow and bearing quantities of splendid foliage and huge clustered cymes of soft-tinted flowers, which diffuse an extremely pungent odour,
The Rowan Tree is famed in verse and legend, but surely no tenderer poem was ever penned in its honour than the old immortal song: "O Rowan tree! O Rowan tree! thou 'It aye be dear to me; Entwined thou art wi' mony ties o' hame and infancy. Thy leaves were aye the first o' spring, thy flowers the simmer's pride; There was nae sic a bonnie tree in a' the countrie side,
O Rowan tree! " How fair wert thou in simmer time, wi' a' thy clusters white! How rich and gay thy autumn dress, wi' berries red and bright! We sat aneath thy spreading shade; the bairnies round thee ran; They pu'd thy bonnie berries red, and necklaces they Strang,
O Rowan tree ! "