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The whitebeams are members of the Rosaceae family, in genus Sorbus subgenus Aria. They are deciduous trees with simple or lobed leaves, arranged alternately. They are related to the rowans (Sorbus subgenus Sorbus), and many of the endemic restricted-range apomictic microspecies of whitebeam in Europe are thought to derive from hybrids between S. aria and the European rowan S. aucuparia; some are also thought to be hybrids with the Wild Service Tree S. torminalis.
The best known species is Common Whitebeam Sorbus aria, but several other species from Europe and Asia in particular are widely cultivated as ornamental trees.
The berries are a favourite of birds, though less palatable (drier, less juicy) than rowan berries.
Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sorbus subgenus Aria
Sorbus Other subgenera
Sorbus aria - Common Whitebeam
Sorbus arranensis - Arran Whitebeam
Sorbus bristoliensis - Bristol Gorge Whitebeam
Sorbus devoniensis - Devon Whitebeam
Sorbus folgneri - Folgner's Whitebeam
Sorbus intermedia - Swedish Whitebeam
Sorbus mougeotii - Vosges Whitebeam
Sorbus rupicola - Rock Whitebeam
Sorbus thibetica - Tibetan Whitebeam
Sorbus vestita - Himalayan Whitebeam
Plus many other species
Sorbus subgenus Sorbus
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