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Uses

Toxic parts

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.

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is usually bletted if it is going to be eaten raw[1][2][3][4][5][6]. This involves storing the fruit in a cool dry place until it is almost but not quite going rotten. At this stage the fruit has a delicious taste, somewhat like a luscious tropical fruit[K]. The fruit will often begin its bletting process whilst still on the tree and we have eaten delicious fruits straight from the tree in mid-September[K]. The fruit can also be dried and used like prunes. The fruit is up to 3cm across[7].

Fruit

Material uses

The bark is a source of tannin[8]. Wood - fine grained, very heavy, hard to split. Used for furniture, screws, wine presses etc[4][9][8][10][5].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Sorbus domestica.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[11][12]. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed[11][12]. Stored seed germinates better if given 2 weeks warm then 14 - 16 weeks cold stratification[13], 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[4], 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 domestica. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in most reasonably good soils in an open sunny position[4]. Tolerates light shade[14], though it fruits better in a sunny position[K].

The service tree is occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit[3][15][16]. There are 2 distinct forms, S. domestica pomifera. (Hayne.)Rehd. with apple shaped fruits (which ripen from September) and S. domestica pyriformis. (Hayne.)Rehd. with pear shaped fruits which ripen from October[4][16].

Plants are susceptible to fireblight[14] and to canker (which is especially prevalent in areas with high rainfall)[K]. They grow best in the drier areas of Britain, which in general means the eastern half of the country[17].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Sorbus domestica. 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 domestica.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Sorbus domestica
Genus
Sorbus
Family
Rosaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.2 Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-5531-7 (1972-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.64.7 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
  6. ? 6.06.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.18.2 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
  13. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
  14. ? 14.014.1 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Greece and the Balkans. Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-217626-9 (1980-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 Bianchini. F., Corbetta. F. and Pistoia. M. Fruits of the Earth. ()
  17. ? ? The Plantsman. Vol. 3. 1981 - 1982. Royal Horticultural Society (1981-00-00)

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