Our mystery seeds from the orange “berries” last week were from a mountain ash tree, Sorbus sp.

mountain-ash-treeMountain ashes are small trees that are popular in landscapes.

mountain-ash-berriesThe orange fruit, which grow in clusters, are eaten by birds. This photograph of the fruit was taken in October.

sorbus-mountain-ash-seedsI thought probably the tree I took the seeds from was the American mountain ash, Sorbus americana, which grows in northeastern North America.

sorbus-americana-seedsHowever, these American mountain ash seeds by Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database have a pronounced hook at the ends. They are also relatively longer and narrower.

sorbus-hybridaThe seeds look closer to Sorbus hybrida, which is the oakleaf mountain ash (Photograph by Tracey Slotta @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database). On the other hand, the leaves and geographical distribution are all wrong.

sorbus-scopulinaWhat do you think about Sorbus scopulina, called Greene’s mountain ash (photograph by Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)? These are from western North America.

In all likelihood, these landscape trees are a cultivated variety that doesn’t match any of the above. They will remain a bit of a mystery, after all.