This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
We have considered many members of the beautiful Rose family already, but we have now a representative of another branch of it - the Wild-Apple section. The fruit of the Mountain Ash is really a little apple. It has no relationship with the Ash (Fraxinus, see page 135), but the mere resemblance of its pinnate leaves has won the name. It is a low tree, growing from twenty to forty feet in height. It flowers in May, the creamy white blossoms being grouped in a cyme. The leaf is divided pinnately into six, seven, or eight pairs of leaflets and a terminal odd one; each leaflet toothed, the mid-rib and nerves hairy. The calyx also is hairy. The flowers are succeeded by a cluster of bright scarlet tiny apples, with yellow flesh and a three-celled hard "core" or endocarp. These are ripe in September, and are eagerly sought after by birds - a fact of which advantage has been taken by bird-catchers of all times and places where the tree grows. It is used for the purpose of baiting their horse-hair springes, whence it has got the name of Fowler's Service-tree, and in the principal European countries it bears a name of like import. Its folk-names in this country alone make a long list:- Quicken-tree, Quick-Beam, Wiggen, Whichen, or Witcher, Wild Ash, Wild Service, Rowan, Roan, or Roddan, Mountain Service, and other variations. Some of these names are reminders of its supposed protective powers against the machinations of witches and warlocks. "Witches have no power where there is Rowan-tree wood."
Pyrus is the old Latin name for a pear-tree.
Mountain Ash. Rowan-tree.
Pyrus aucuparia. - Rosaceae. -