ONE OF THE FEW ROWAN TREES FROM WHICH WE CAN EAT ITS FRUIT
Rowan we know many. You have surely seen them in a multitude of gardens, decorating with their colorful berries at the fruiting season. But they have been just that. Ornamental trees. Among the more than 200 species of the genus Sorbus , we present you the edible one. Sorbus domestica L . There are some more but this is the most representative. Let’s see.
AN EMINENTLY ORNAMENTAL TREE
I’ve known his first cousin since I was little. A little bit that you like plants, trees etc. More than once you will have noticed it, wondering which tree is so spectacular with that amount of clusters of orange, red, yellow, white berries … (depending on the species). A rowan or as I knew him; Hunter’s or hunter’s rowan, grown ornamentally in parks and gardens for generations of gardeners. Its scientific name, Sorbus aucuparia L. This is that of the red berries that you have surely seen on more than one occasion.
Sorbus aucuparia (ornamental)
TODAY WE PROPOSE ANOTHER SERBAL
Within the Sorbus species (more than 100) that we know of, there are only a couple of them in which the berries, in addition to being ornamental, we can also make an interesting culinary use of them (we will see it later). And of these, we present today the common rowan, acerolo (not to be confused with Crataegus azarolus L. ), gerbal, and some other name that I do not remember. This species is native to southern Europe (botanically speaking), and Spain falls within the area of origin to almost Asia Minor and southern Russia. Although its origin is centered in Europe, it has already made the leap and we can also find it in North America.
We can get hold of a common rowan in cold climates without problem. Perhaps the wild beetles that we know are somewhat more resistant but there will be no problem with cold and high-altitude winds. In the peninsula, in addition to harsh winters, summers are also hot in mountain areas, a situation that it also supports since it has a deep root system, and having soil, it will withstand the summer months well.
It is not a limiting factor. It is quite rustic in terms of soil, although, as we have just said, the soil must be deep to withstand dry summers. Although it is not a limiting factor, given the choice, it is of limestone soils.
DO YOU WANT TO HAVE A DOMESTIC ROWAN IN YOUR GARDEN? NO PROBLEM BUT… IT’S SLOW, VERY SLOW.
You wonder if it is difficult to grow it. No way. There is no need to prune them. At most, remove dry and old wood but nothing else. They grow at their free will without problems so you do not have to worry about anything, except the first years, in which the root system is not very deep and possibly requires some watering in the summer, if it is hard and dry.
Here comes the but. It is slow growing and therefore has no productive and commercial interest, since it takes about 10 years to bear fruit and about 20 to enter full production. You have to arm yourself with patience, there is no other choice. The advantage is that its wood is of good quality and hard . The good is made to wait, and the good wood is a very clear case.
Fruit of Sorbus domestica L.
LET’S GO TO WHAT REALLY INTERESTS US. WHAT CAN WE DO WITH ITS FRUITS?
They are harvested during the fall and the first thing to do is overripe them . Do you remember another tree whose fruits had to be overripe?… I remind you: the common medlar . With over-ripening they lose their harsh flavor, turning into a pleasant sweet that can be reminiscent of baked apple. For this reason, it lends itself a lot to making jams and preserves as well as being able to experiment with macerations in alcohol to make rich liqueurs (always in moderation 😉). Eaten natural they contain magnificent amounts of Vitamin C, because what is considered antiscorbutic. On the other hand, it is somewhat astringent so be careful with its excessive consumption.
PESTS AND DISEASES OF COMMON ROWAN
It can suffer basically the same as apple and pear trees .