Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

January 18, 2017: Botany Photo of the Day is being actively worked on. Returning soon!

Sorbus pallescens

Sorbus pallescens

Sharing something from the Garden today, because I don't think we've ever announced on Botany Photo of the Day that you can now visit UBC Botanical Garden virtually via Google StreetView. You can see today's plant (in early summer) from the middle of this Google StreetView capture, and explore from there. Today's photograph is from mid-October.

The Botanical Garden received this accession as seed from Roy Lancaster in late 1980 / early 1981, with the wild-collected number L[ancaster]465. Lancaster collected this seed from the biodiverse-rich Mount Emei (Mt. Omei) in Sichuan, China. The summary of a Royal Horticultural Society's Sorbus Study Day (PDF) in 2008 makes particular mention of this seed lot collected by Lancaster as one of the recommended cultivated types.

Sorbus is often divided into several subgenera (or, according to some, several distinct genera), with the two main groups being the subgenus Sorbus (the rowans or mountain-ashes) and the subgenus Aria (the whitebeams). Sorbus pallescens is a whitebeam, distinguished as part of this group by its simple leaves and unfused carpels in its fruit (see a summary of distinctions on Wikipedia's page for Sorbus). UBC Botanical Garden has many Sorbus species in its collection, but I am partial to Sorbus pallescens due to the flushing of red on its fruit. You can see more of the Garden's collections in this forum thread from a few months ago: Sorbus fruits of UBC Botanical Garden.

Today's species doesn't seem to have a common name in English. GRIN reports a common name via Flora of China (linked above): hui ye hua qiu. This small tree (to 10m or so) is native to southwest China and Tibet.


Wonderful photo, Daniel! Interesting how much more red it is than in Nadia's forum posting.

I'm totally impressed that you found the tree on street view.

Hi Wendy and All,

Hope your flu is abating. I had Guillain-Barre Syndrome in 1997. The swine flu vaccine in the late 1970s was thought to have triggered a suspiciously high number of GB cases. Five per cent of GB victims have recurrence. Therefore a GB victim should not take the flu vaccine. So ironically I work in a large nursing home and dance around the viruses hoping not to get sick (sigh).

Love this site.

Thanks for the Google link, Daniel! This will be appreciated by your fans all over the world!

I really enjoyed the google map view. Thank you!

pink blueberries:) very pretty

Thank you so much for the Google link. The next time I am in the Northwest I would love to come check out your garden. It looks amazing.

Now I can at least see the gardens from afar and enjoy it

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.3928
Fax: 604.822.2016 Email:

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia