Some might say that the definition of subtle beauty is ‘Lutescens’ whitebeam, or Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’. As its names implies, it will illumine your garden. The silvery young leaves with yellow down are carried on purple shoots for a stunning spring show. And the foliage remains grey-green for the remainder of the summer. And 'Lutescens', maintains a superior form to the species being more compact and eventually reaches 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide.

Oddly, unlike other mountain ashes, which have compound leaves, whitebeam has large, simple leaves, which make it very un-mountain ash looking. But these leaves unfurl with a fine fuzz of silvery hairs that give it a luminescence that seems almost ethereal and is very unique. Whitebeam also produces white flowers in spring, in 3 inch clusters and these develop into showy, bright red fruits which are eagerly consumed by wild birds so it’s a wild-life friendly garden choice. And it has autumn color, a rich golden yellow to russet.

This native of Britain grows in limestone soils but does well in acidic soils as well, providing both are well-drained. It takes sun or dappled shade.

It grows across most of the US, except for the hottest and driest regions. It does well in Lower Canada and throughout the UK, New Zealand and temperate Australia.


‘Lutescens’ whitebeam

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