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Small, spreading tree to 6 m. Buds densely covered with reddish brown hair. Leaves dark green, to 40 cm long, with 11–12 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets 7.5 × 1.7 cm, margins dentate for about three-quarters of their length; leaves turning reddish brown in autumn. Fruit pink, 0.8 × 1.2 cm; carpels three to four (to five). Tetraploid apomict (2n = 68). McAllister 2005a. Distribution CHINA: Xizang (Kongbo). Habitat Clearings in Abies forest. USDA Hardiness Zone 6. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration McAllister 2005a; NT799.
Sorbus kongboensis is a common small tree in southeastern Tibet and is now established in cultivation, although as yet it is not widely grown. Again it is thanks to Keith Rushforth that this species was discovered and introduced (KR 3664). In the wild it has spectacular autumnal coloration, derived from both the fruits – crimson, slowly becoming paler – and the rich red leaves. This red pigmentation is also apparent in the abundant red hairs that cover the buds and young leaves.