Species list


Sorbus intermedia

Swedish whitebeam

Swedish whitebeam (Eng), mostajo (Spa), mostallar, moixera de Suècia (Cat).


DID YOU KNOW...? The genome of this species is a hybrid between Sorbus aria and S. aucuparia, which can be deduced from the characteristics that are intermediate between the two species.


This tree can reach 20 m in height. It has hairy young branches and smooth grey bark. The leaves are deciduous, simple , alternate (this character is seen best in the middle of the branches, as at the ends the leaves can be very close together). They have a serrated margin, with 3 to 5 pairs of characteristically deep lobes, something that distinguishes this species from, for example, Sorbus aria (L.) Crantz. Their length/width ratio makes them narrower than the leaves of Sorbus latifolia (Lam.) Pers. or S. torminalis (L.) Crantz, as they are 5-12 cm long by 3-9 cm wide. The upper side is hairless, but the underside is velvety as it is densely covered in whitish hairs. The flowers are white and grow in very large groups that appear between May and July. The fruits are globose, 6 to 15 mm in diameter and red when ripe. This colour helps to differentiate this species from Sorbus latifolia, which has orangey fruits.


This species grows spontaneously in oak, beech and fir woodlands. It can also be seen in clearings and margins, in scrubland, rocky areas, etc., on any type of soil, usually between altitudes of 1000-1800 m.


It lives throughout most of Europe and the Caucasus region. On the Iberian Peninsula it is primarily found in the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees, Cordillera Cantábrica and Montes de León ranges.