Deriving from the Latin avis "bird" and capere "catching", aucuparia's berries will last well into winter, providing a welcome source of sustenance for birds and colour for the garden. Although unrelated to ash trees proper, aucuparias go by the name "mountain ash" with both their buds and leaves superficially similar. Excellent colonisers, aucuparia can be found growing naturally at high altitudes throughout Europe and the UK where it is native. Come Spring, this monoecious species will produce quaint male and female flowers, which are perfect for pollinators.
Of all the varieties, the most popular are the traditional European Mountain Rowan, with its red berries and green leaves, and Joseph Rock with its stunning yellow berries and red leaves. Newer cultivars recommended by the RHS include Autumn Spire and Sheerwater Seedling. The former is upright in habit with gorgeous purple-red leaves. The latter possesses red-orange berries and can be considered an improved version of the traditional rowan.