Sorbus aria 'Magnifica'. This is perhaps the best whitebeam, a German cultivar with exceptionally large and handsome foliage. Like most whitebeams, the autumn colour is not exceptional, but can turn yellow and hang a long time. Knightshayes, Devon.

Sorbus glomerulata is a small red-berried rowan from China. Kew, UK.

Sorbus 'Joseph Rock' is named after the Austrian plant hunter who introduced berries from Yunnan. This clone probably originated after a seedling of S. monbeigii R23657 was accidentally cross-pollinated by S. commixta at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh and the seedling raised at Wisley. The true plant has butter-yellow berries and purple autumn colour, as seen here at Moorbank Gardens, Newcastle. It is sexually fertile and many seedlings are three-way hybrids.

This seedling of Sorbus 'Joseph Rock' in the author's garden has kept the good autumn colour of its parent, but the berries are a darker colour. It is probably a hybrid with S. aucuparia.

Sorbus microphylla is one of a complex of sexual white-berried rowans from the Himalayas. This particular individual in the author's garden was grown from seed collected near Everest in east Nepal by Kath Baker. It has poor autumn colour, but sensational purple flowers and good white berries.

Sorbus 'Pinkness' is one of a series of hybrid rowans raised at Ness Gardens, Wirral which probably involve S. hupehensis in their parentage. Moorbank Garden, Newcastle.

Sorbus prattii is another relative of S. microphylla, but from the Zhongdian region of western China. Kew, UK.

Sorbus pseudohupehensis is an apomictic species related to S. hupehensis but with white berries and larger foliage. Author's garden, Hexham.

Sorbus pseudovilmorinii is an apomictic relative of the more commonly seen S. vilmorinii, and like that species comes from the mountains of western China. Howick Hall, Northumberland.

Sorbus reducta is a dwarf Chinese and Tibetan species only about 1 m high which develops pink berries and excellent autumn colour. Be sure to acquire the non-suckering form as the sucking form fruits less well and is seriously invasive. Author's garden, Hexham UK.

Sorbus reducta. Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

Sorbus rosea is a relative of S. cashmiriana from the extreme north-western Himalayans, but with large pink fruits. Englefield Park, Berks.

Sorbus rosea. Ness Gardens, UK.

Sorbus scalaris is a relative of S. commixta, but from western China. The regular shiny leaflets are distinctive. Howick Hall, Northumberland.

Stachyurus (Stachyuraceae) are lovely spring-flowering shrubs with cascades of small bell-like flowers but most keep their leaves for much of the winter and rarely colour well. Here S. praecox v leucotrichus is reddening well at Kew, UK.

Stuartia pseudocamellia is one of several species related to Camellias in the Theaceae which are partially deciduous and display good autumn tones. This Japanese species is here growing at Kew, UK.

Perhaps the more exciting feature of Stewartia pseudocamellia are the patchwork boles as revealed by judicious pruning at Kew.

I have no doubt that the most spectacular of all the autumn-coloring conifers is the Swamp Cypress, Taxodium distichum from the south of the USA. Seedlings vary in colour, but they can be truly spectacular, as here at Kew, UK. As the name suggests they enjoy growing by watersides in saturated soils, and where their reflection is seen to best effect.

Taxodium distichum, Holker Hall, Cumbria.

Taxodium distichum. An orange-colored form, Wisley, UK.

Taxus baccata, the British native Yew is an evergreen, but when males and females grow together the fruits are a handsome sight. The poisonous seeds are surrounded by a fleshy sweet-tasting aril which is free from the seed, and so not a berry. Moorbank Garden, Newcastle.

Tilia tomentosa 'Petiolaris'. Most limes do not colour well although they are deciduous trees, but the Weeping Silver Lime of Fontainebleau is an exception. Holker Hall, Cumbria.

Close-up of the autumn foliage of Tilia tomentosa 'Petiolaris'. Knightshayes, Devon.