Rose family (Rosaceae)
Trees or shrubs of heights 5-15(20) m and breast-height diameters to 60 cm. Lives 100 years at most. Bark grey, smooth. Leaves up to 20 cm long, compound – formed from 9-15(21) leaflets, which are toothed except at base of blade. Slightly hairy undersides. Flowers hermaphrodite, white, with 5-fold symmetry, up to 1 cm across, forming a domed cluster. Apple-like fruit (pome) spherical, orange-red, with sour-bitter taste. It matures in Sep., but is still on trees by winter, hence eaten by many different birds and mammals. Flowers in May.
Ecological amplitude wide, growing in mesic to moist, semi-fertile soils in pine and mixed/coniferous forests, oak woodland, oak-lime-hornbeam and alder forest. Fruit edible if cooked, and has twice as much carotene as carrots. A medicinal plant, therefore.
Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski.