The rowan is a medium-sized tree that grows to a height of around 20 metres. An elegant, slender tree, it has a dense, oval crown that becomes irregular with age. The bark is smooth and grey-brown. Its leaves are 10 to 20 centimetres long and made up of nine to 17 oblong leaflets that are serrated along the edges. The creamy flowers are arranged in dense, flat-topped heads and have an unpleasant fragrance. The fruits are round, smooth, orange-red berries.
Rowans can be found throughout most of Europe. They are very adaptable and tolerate wet soils as well as areas in the full sun and can grow in crevices among rocks.