Herb latin name: Sorbus thibetica
Synonyms: Pyrus thibetica
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Edible parts of Sorbus thibetica:Fruit - raw or cooked. Very nice raw when it is fully ripe, preferably picked after a frost. At this stage it has a mealy texture and a mild-flavoured slightly sweet fruit. The fruit can also be bletted. This involves storing the fruit in a cool dry place until it is almost but not quite going rotten. At this stage the fruit has a delicious taste, somewhat like a luscious tropical fruit. The fruit is up to 15mm across.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Dense forests on slopes or in valleys, rocky slopes, streambanks and shrubby thickets at elevations of 2400 - 3800 metres in Tibet.
Propagation of Sorbus thibetica:Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed. Stored seed germinates better if given 2 weeks warm then 14 - 16 weeks cold stratification, so sow it as early in the year as possible. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Seedlings are very slow to put on top-growth for their first year or two, but they are busy building up a good root system. It is best to keep them in pots in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.
Cultivation of the herb:Dense forests on slopes or in valleys, rocky slopes, streambanks and shrubby thickets at elevations of 2400 - 3800 metres in Tibet.
Medicinal use of Sorbus thibetica:None known
Known hazards of Sorbus thibetica:The seeds probably contain hydrogen cyanide. This is the ingredient that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. Unless the seed is very bitter it should be perfectly safe in reasonable quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.