Species of the Month: Rowan
Help us with our wildlife surveys
Our Species of the Month species surveys are an important way you can help us. Records are sent to DERC (Dorset Environmental Records Centre) who collate this information to build up a picture of the of the state of Dorset's wildlife. So please help us help wildlife by filling in the form below. Thank you!
November Species of the Month: Rowan
Scientific Name: Sorbus aucuparia
Rowan is a small fast-growing tree in the rose family, Rosaceae. Rowan leaves are made up of 5-8 pairs of ‘saw-edge’ leaflets. The tree has clusters of white flowers in spring & red berries in the autumn.
Food plant of...
The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of moths such as the Welsh wave and autumn green carpet.
Flowers provide pollen and nectar for bees and other insects, while the berries are a great food source for birds such as blackbirds and thrushes. In a cold winter they are enjoyed by migrating waxwing.
In the spring the rowan produces white flowers which, if successfully pollinated, develop into red berries in the autumn. These are eaten by birds and some of the discarded seeds germinate into new rowan trees.
Did you know?
Rowans used to be widely planted as the colour red was considered good for fighting evil. In Ireland it was planted near houses to protect them against spirits, and in Wales rowan trees were planted in churchyards. Cutting down a rowan was considered taboo in Scotland.
Where can they be found?
Wildlife gardening tips
Planting native trees, such as rowan in your garden to provide shelter and food source for other wildlife and encourage pollinators to visit.
Plant mixed native hedges, install bird boxes, feeders and tables to allow for a bird population to interact with the rowan tree.
Species of the Month sightings form
Your details will only be used by Dorset Wildlife Trust and we will never give your information to other organisations to use for their own purposes. You can change your communications preference at any time by contacting us on 01202 692033. When you have completed the form, please click the Send button.