is the Latin name for this Rowan Tree. It is also known under the name of the Mountain Ash. This is the European variety that was introduced into America during colonial times. However it has a native variety to which we can relate this information to also. This is the American Mountain Ash/Rowan its Latin name is Sorbus americana
. It is native to the northeastern part of your country. It spreads from Newfoundland to Western Ontario also from Illinois to Georgia so my botanist friend tells me. There is a difference I understand within the shape of the leaves, the latter variety are a solid leaf about four inches long a little paler on the underside and its edge is a little jagged like a saw teeth. The European counterpart leaves are quite different but also very distinctive. They come from a central stem that eventually forms part of the tree branch. From this central axis comes between five to fifteen individual leaves, which reduce in size along its length.
Within Europe the Rowan favours an acid soil and a wet climate, idea for the climate of Ireland Scotland and Wales. The original species have been interbred with various varieties, which has allowed it to be adapted to most soils. It can now be found in many parts of these Islands. It's particular hardy tree that can thrive at a high altitude from normal deciduous trees. Where I write this, upon the side of the mountain 1000 feet up, those we planted eight years ago are growing well. It is very resistant to the high winds, which is often experienced here. The Rowan is a colonising tree very similar to the Birch its predecessor, open ground and plenty of light is one of its requirements. Similar to Birch its short lived in terms of a tree life.
When young its bark is a smooth shiny grey, as it matures this becomes much rougher. Within its bark, if you have the opportunity to take a close inspection, small breathing hole can be observed. I’m uncertain whether this is true for the Native American variety but I’m sure someone will say or educate me on this point. The Rowan is relative small it reaches a height of about 40ft, a slender trunk on which is a crown of ascending branches. The leaves as we have mentioned, point forward and descend in there size. They too correspond with its counterpart where the upper leaves are a darker shade than the colour underneath. Unlike the purple buds of the Birch these are a dark brown in colour.
The Rowan tree produces flowers that appear on a small bunch usually in May, also around the time of another Moon cross quarter celebration. These are seen as a creamy white bunch, inside which contains both the male and female parts to produce the later berries which carries the trees immortality within the material world. Once the flowers have been pollinated they slowly form a green berry, which is at the centre of the rainbow when we spoke of splitting the white light. The colour that this berry now turns is yellow, orange and red. They descend from the middle wavelength to the lowest. If you have a chance in the fall and locate either variety of this tree, take a close look at this Red Berry; one will observe that it has a perfect pentagram imbedded on each one.
In the fall or autumn when the birds begins to feed of the berries and disperse the seeds. For the adventurous, these too can be picked to produce a Rowan Berry Jelly or Jam which is high in Vitamin C. It is idea for those winter colds that we all suffer from at some time during this period. The leaves turn colour as the tree withdraws and takes in the food from the leaves ready to sustain it through the winter. These turn a yellow brown in colour and then fall to re-nourish the earth that has sustained it over the year. In turn the tree offers it’s thanks to her, as it waits another cycle.
As we are at Imboc it may be fitting to contribute this here. It may also give you an idea about the layers that are present within this Grove of trees; one has just begun to explore. I would also like to mention that Gods and Goddesses would be spoken about; you also have a choice on how you wish to perceive these. Indeed you may have another name for them. One can view these as their name implies or you can look at them as a story of explaining a person experience. It to can be a guide to an individual, or a way of explaining natural phenomena.
Instructor: Avalon Centre of Druidry http://www.avaloncollege.org/