[NAFEX] mountain ash utility
markl at nytec.com
Mon Feb 2 13:47:17 EST 2004
Re: [NAFEX] mountain ash utilityLon,
Do you have any experience growing the non-bitter eastern European varieties
from seed? I am wondering if Sorbus are like citrus in that most come true
from seed, or like apples in that most do not come true from seed. I am
thinking mainly of the bitter/non-bitter characterisitc. Each year I have
many Sorbus seedlings come up around my yard, but none so far is worth
keeping even to nibble.
-Mark Lee, Seattle
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Lon J. Rombough
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2004 10:31 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] mountain ash utility
One would expect the seeds to be much like those in Amelanchier, in which
you can eat the fresh berries if you don't chew the seeds, or else cook the
fruit to break down the cyanide.
There are actually quite a few species of Mt. Ash (Sorbus) with edible
fruit. The English have been using many for years.
I have some of the "lookalike" types from easten Europe that lack the
bitterness of the common ornamental types, and some of the S. domestica
types that have to be "bletted" to be eaten. The latter has some serious
quirks, though. One is that they can't be grafted by ordinary means. The
other is that the wood is incredibly hard. There may be a connection
The NCGR at Corvallis, OR has a collection of Sorbus, most of which
have fruit that is edible (though maybe not always palatible). Most of the
edible ones are mainly mildly sweet, somewhat mealy fruit types. Not great,
but interesting as an edible ornamental.
This question is from a string (WI, Madison area) discussing native vs
european mountain ash, and uses for them. Any replies from nafexers ?
I didn't even know there's a non-native mountain ash until I read this.
Glad to find out that it's the ugly one (you know, in my opinion). I
the smaller red fruits to the big orange ones, which seem a little gaudy
me. (Of course, some who know my taste in flower colors and
will wonder how I can judge anything to be gaudy...)
Anyone have more info on distinguishing the two? Anyone know about the
safety of drinking tisane from the leaves/bark (i.e., are there any
with cyanide, as there are in cherry bark and apple seeds)?
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