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Synonym: mountain-ash berry

botanical name: Sorbus aucuparia



The common rowan tree is found in our region on roadsides, in forests or in parks. It is prevalent in all temperate zones. There is also the so-called sweet rowanberry (Sorbus aucuparia var. edulis or moravica), which contains fewer bitter constituents than the common rowanberry and is native to the Czech Republic.



The time for harvesting the common rowanberry is in October, while the sweet rowanberry is picked as early as August. Both fruits are rarely offered for sale; at the most, they can be found sporadically at weekly markets or from direct sellers.


Appearance, taste, characteristics

Rowanberries are bright-red berries the size of peas that grown in umbels on the tree. Within the fruits are seeds. As already mentioned, the rowanberry tastes bitter, tart and astringent, while the sweet rowanberry has a mild flavour.



Parasorbic acid is responsible for the bitterness of the common rowanberries. In addition, they contain large amounts of vitamin C and provitamin A (carotene).


100 g contain:



Rowanberry, fresh

Energy (kcal)


Water (g)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrates (g)


Fibre (g)


Vitamin C (mg)


Vitamin A (RE) (µg)


Carotene (mg)


Folic acid (µg)


Potassium (mg)


Sodium (mg)


Calcium (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Iron (mg)



Foreign substances

The same is true for rowanberries as for all wild fruits: Do not collect them in the vicinity of roads with heavy traffic, as they are particularly exposed there to dirt and exhaust gases.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Caution! Rowanberries are not suitable for raw consumption. If they are eaten in large amounts they will cause vomiting and diarrhoea, due to the toxic effect of the parasorbic acid. This is destroyed by heating, however, or when the fruits are soaked in vinegar water for 24 hours. The berries can then be used in many ways and without danger.


Compote, jelly, syrup and juice from rowanberries taste excellent, especially those made from sweet rowanberries. They are also good as an accompaniment to game dishes, or they are dried. Spirits and teas are two of the varied possibilities for using rowanberries.





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