The glabrous, pinnate leaves of this native shrub or small tree may be either a dull red or a rich yellow in the fall and offer a colorful contrast to its clusters of bright red fruits, which give may color to an entire hillside after the leaves have dropped. The leaves have 13-17 elliptic, serrate or doubly serrate leaflets 5-10cm (2-4") long. Mountain Ash is a northern plant of rocky outcrops that reaches the Smokies along the high mountains. The closely related European Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia), an early introduction from Europe with hairy leaves, is now naturalized in the northern tip of the Appalachians.
The fruits provide food for wildlife, but since they last so long into the winter they must not be very tasty!
compiled from "Fall Colors & Woodland Harvests" & "Fall Color Finder" by Laurel Hill Press
© 1999 NCNatural
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