Sorbus domestica, the common rowan

Sorbus domestica flowers and leaves

When we think of having a garden with deciduous trees, we usually feel good right away, since there are many species that become beautiful during the fall. One of them is neither more nor less than the sorbus domestica, the common rowan.

This woody plant has many qualities that are sought in trees: fast growth, gives enough shade, does not require much care, and besides that it has edible fruits.

Characteristics of the Sorbus domestica

Sorbus domestica in garden

Our protagonist is a deciduous tree native to southern Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. In Spain it grows in Valencia, the Balearic Islands, Sierra Nevada and in the Sierra de Segura. Its scientific name is sorbus domesticaBut you probably know it better by its common names: Azarolo, House Rowan, or Common Rowan.

It is characterized by having Round shape, with the extended branches in an ascending position. It reaches a height of 15 meters, being able to reach 20 meters if the suitable terrain and humidity conditions are met. It has a diameter of 10 meters.

The leaves are compound, odd-pinnate, formed by between 6 and 8 pairs of serrated leaflets with toothed margins, grayish-green on the upper surface and tomentose on the underside. During the fall they turn reddish in color.

The flowers bloom in spring and are white. Once they are pollinated, the fruit begins to mature, the rowanberry, which will be shaped like an apple with a diameter of 2,5 cm and will be red to brown when ripe. It can be eaten roasted.

How do you take care of yourself?

Fruits of the Sorbus domestica

Are you liking the rowan? If so, here is your care guide:


You have to plant it outside, either in full sun or in semi-shade (It must be in an area where there is more light than shade). In shade it does not develop well and ends up weakening a lot.


Grows in limestone soils. If they have good drainage, it will grow better, so it is highly recommended to make a 1m x 1m planting hole and mix the soil with 30 or 40% perlite in case you have a land that has trouble draining the Water.


Withstands drought well once established, but for at least the first year it should be watered 3 times a week in summer and 2 in the other seasons so that your root system can be extended enough.


From time to time, and especially during the first year, it is highly recommended to add a 3-4cm layer of organic compost, such as worm castings or horse manure. In this way, you will ensure that it will have optimal growth.

Planting time

The best time to spend it in the garden is en spring, when the risk of frost has passed and the minimum temperatures begin to exceed 10ºC.

Plagues and diseases

It is a very resistant plant that it is not usually affected by pests or other microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria. However, if it is a young tree and the environment is very dry, it could have cochineal o White fly, which are eliminated with specific insecticides.


You can obtain new specimens by peeling and washing the fresh seeds well during the fall and then sowing them in pots with universal growing substrate. If all goes well, they will germinate in spring.


El sorbus domestica It is a very resistant tree capable of withstanding the frosts of up to -15ºC, but you should know that in order for it to wear red in autumn during that season it has to be cold, that is, temperatures of around 15ºC have to be registered. If it's hot, it will most likely turn brown and be without leaves in a few days.

Uses of Sorbus domestica

Sorbus domestica in autumn


This is a tree that looks great in gardens. It is true that it does not give the shade that a maple does, but it does gives enough to protect you from the sun during the warmer months. In addition, they look great in groups or as tall hedges.


The fruits of the rowan are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, which are essential to have a strong and healthy immune system. As if that were not enough, it also has antidiarrheal and astringent properties. They are also indicated to treat cases of anemia, physical and mental exhaustion, and general weakness.

The method of use is as follows:

  1. The first thing to do is take the fresh rowanberry from the tree.
  2. Afterwards, they are cleaned conscientiously.
  3. They are then baked so that the water covers them completely.
  4. Then, they are brought to a boil for 15 minutes, and removed from the heat.
  5. Finally, they are peeled and consumed.

Sorbus domestica flowers

And so far the special of sorbus domestica. What did you think of this tree? If you have a low-maintenance garden, you won't have to worry about a thing with rowan 🙂.

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  1.   Ismael Gonzalez Millan said

    Where you say "diameter of 10 meters", you mean the cup, right? if you refer to the trunk it will be rather PERIMETER.