Sorbus Scopulina. Cascade Mountain-Ash.

Sorbus scopulina. Cascade mountain-ash.

Sorbus scopulina, commonly known as the Cascade mountain-ash, is a captivating deciduous shrub or small tree indigenous to the mountainous regions of western North America. Boasting a graceful, erect stature that can reach heights of up to 20 feet, its slender branches are adorned with pinnate leaves that turn a resplendent shade of red or orange come autumn. During spring and early summer, the Cascade mountain-ash is bedecked with tight clusters of petite white blossoms, eventually giving way to vivid, red-orange berries by late summer. These berries add color to the landscape and serve as a vital food source for many birds and wildlife.

In addition to its ornamental appeal, indigenous communities have long cherished the Cascade mountain-ash for its medicinal properties. After undergoing a frost or two, its berries can be consumed in moderation and are often transformed into jellies or wines. However, caution is advised, as the seeds within the berries contain a compound that, if consumed in large quantities, can be toxic. Whether you’re seeking a plant that brings wildlife to your garden or want a burst of color through the seasons, the Sorbus scopulina is a striking and versatile choice.

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