French Hales (Sorbus latifolia)

Crataegus latifolia. Pyrus intermedia latifolia. P. latifolia.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
French Hales
Sorbus latifolia

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked[183]. The fruit is usually bletted if it is going to be eaten raw[K]. 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 1.5cm across[200] and is borne in bunches which makes harvesting easier[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    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.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[78, 80]. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed[78, 80]. Stored seed germinates better if given 2 weeks warm then 14 – 16 weeks cold stratification[98], 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[11], 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.
Succeeds in most reasonably good soils in an open sunny position[11]. Tolerates light shade[188], though it fruits better in a sunny position[K]. Plants are susceptible to fireblight[188]. Probably of hybrid origin with S. torminalis as one parent and S. aria or a species from that complex as the other parent[11]. The trees usually have apomictic flowers. They thus produce seed asexually, each seedling being a clone of the parent[11].
Europe – France.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.