Sorbus. Sorbus aucuparia, Mountain ash, Rowan tree.
Sorbus. Sorbus Aucuparia L. (Now Pyrus Aucuparia (L.) Erhr.) Mountain Ash. Rowan Tree. Sorbes, Fr. Eberesche, Vogelbeere, G. (Fam. Rosaceae.)—A small European tree extensively cultivated in the United States and becoming naturalized. Its fruit contains a peculiar kind of sugar called sorbinose, C6H12O6, isomeric with levulose. It reduces Fehling's solution, but is not fermentable with yeast. Hofmann has also discovered two news acids, which he designates as sorbic and parasorbic acids, C6H8O2. Sorbic acid forms colorless needle-like crystals fusing at 134.5° C. (274° F.), while parasorbic acid is a lactone-like body, which, on heating with concentrated acids or solid alkali, changes into sorbic acid. M. J. Boussingault has found in it a crystalline saccharine principle, sorbitol, isomeric with mannitol, melting, when anhydrous, at from 110° to 111° C. (230°-231.8° F.), when hydrated, at 102° C. (215.6° F.). Its formula is C6H14O6. It does not undergo the vinous fermentation. (P. J., 1872, 28.) The seeds of the fruit contain 22 per cent. of fixed oil. The fruit has been used in scurvy, and in infusion, as a remedy in hemorrhoids and strangury. All parts of the tree are astringent, and may be employed in tanning and dyeing black. S. americana Marsh, (now Pyrus americana (Marsh.) DC.), or American Mountain Ash, probably has similar virtues to the European species. Edwin Johanson found the fruit to yield from 4.92 to 6.6 per cent. of malic acid. (Ph. Z. R., i, 1882.)