The seeds probably contain hydrogen cyanide. This is the ingredient that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. Unless the seed is very bitter it should be perfectly safe in reasonable quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Fruit - raw or cooked in preserves etc
. The taste is best after a frost
. The fruits are about 7 - 10mm across and are borne in dense clusters
This species is capable of growing in exposed conditions in poor soils
, and so could be used in re-afforestation as a pioneer plant to provide suitable conditions for other woodland trees to be established[K].
Wood - close-grained, soft, moderately light with little strength, it is of no commercial value
A decoction of the inner bark, taken from the stem base, has been used as a wash and poultice in the treatment of rheumatism
. The decoction can also be taken internally in the treatment of a backache
A decoction of the peeled stems has been drunk in the treatment of backaches
Canopy or Secondary canopy
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame
. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed
. Stored seed germinates better if given 2 weeks warm then 14 - 16 weeks cold stratification
, so sow it as early in the year as possible. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Seedlings are very slow to put on top-growth for their first year or two
, but they are busy building up a good root system. It is best to keep them in pots in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Sorbus decora. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Succeeds in most reasonably good soils in an open sunny position
. Dislikes dry soils
. Tolerates light shade
, though it fruits better in a sunny position[K]. This species is able to grow in poor soils and to become established on exposed broken ground
Plants are susceptible to fireblight.
Closely related to S. americana
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Sorbus decora. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Sorbus decora.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
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? 2.02.1 Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences (1978-00-00)
? 3.03.13.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
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? 5.05.15.25.3 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
? 6.06.1 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
? 7.07.1 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
? 9.09.19.29.3 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
? 10.010.110.2 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)