Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various deciduous trees of the genus Sorbus subg. Aria, native to Eurasia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The common beam tree of England (Pyrus Aria); -- so called from the white, woolly under surface of the leaves.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small Old World tree, Pyrus Aria, having the under side of its foliage, as well as the young twigs and inflorescence, clothed with silvery down. See beam-tree.

Etymologies

white (“(from the color of the leaves, when emergent and later the undersides)”) +‎ beam (“tree”) – see Old English bēam. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In the artificial limestone pavement of the quarries, native whitebeam had sprung up, and we found a lime kiln hidden in the trees.

    Wildwood

  • Vine Parthenocissus himalayana and clematis Clematis montana are also common and other low altitude trees include maple Acer campbellii and whitebeam Sorbus cuspidata.

    Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal

  • Then, whereas the day was very calm and fair, and the dame had given her holiday, she wandered about the eyot, and most in a little wood of berry-trees, as quicken and whitebeam and dog-wood, and sported with the birds, who feared her not, but came and sat on her shoulders, and crept about her feet.

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • “How red the whitebeam berries are!” he murmured, not knowing why.

    The Brothers Karamazov

  • He remembered that just under the window there were several thick and high bushes of elder and whitebeam.

    The Brothers Karamazov

  • At last he came to a bank of beautiful shrubs; whitebeam, with its great silver-backed leaves, and mountain ash, and oak; and below them cliff and crag, cliff and crag, with great beds of crown ferns and wood sedge; while through the shrubs he could see the stream sparkling, and hear it murmur on the white pebbles.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 2

  • Flashing like the whitebeam, swaying like the reed.

    Love in the Valley

  • Flashing as in gusts the sudden-lighted whitebeam:

    Love in the Valley

  • So came they nigh to the crown of the bent, and before them were the oak-trees sparser and smaller as they went down the further side, which seemed by their sudden shortening to be steeper than the hither side; and betwixt them showed the topmost of thorn and whitebeam and logwood, intertwined with eglantine and honeysuckle and the new shoots of the traveller's joy.

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • Avon Gorge is home to two species of tree - the Bristol and Wilmott's whitebeam - found nowhere else on the planet.

    The Guardian World News

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Comments

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  • The whitebeams are members of the Rosaceae family, in genus Sorbus subgenus Aria. They are deciduous trees with simple or lobed leaves, arranged alternately. They are related to the rowans (Sorbus subgenus Sorbus), and many of the endemic restricted-range apomictic microspecies of whitebeam in Europe are thought to derive from hybrids between S. aria and the European rowan S. aucuparia; some are also thought to be hybrids with the Wild Service Tree S. torminalis, notably the Service Tree of Fontainebleau Sorbus latifolia in French woodlands.

    The best known species is Common Whitebeam Sorbus aria, but several other species from Europe and Asia in particular are widely cultivated as ornamental trees.

    _Wikipedia

    February 17, 2008