While the shortness of their laurels has to be acknowledged, cherries genuinely are the hardy spring-flowering trees for temperate environmental condition gardens. I can deliberate of no others, apart from their cherished Prunus relatives and several of the magnolias that even locomote surrounding to rivalling efflorescent cherries for complete weight of bloom and vibrance of tincture.

The variety Prunus, to which the cherries, plums, almonds, apricots and peaches belong, includes on all sides 430 taxonomic group implant all over some of the northern clement regions and has a position in South America. Although together with a few cone-bearing species, specified as the infamous scarlet flowering tree (Prunus laurocerasus), the form is mainly deciduous and largely sturdy to the frosts probable to come about in most New Zealand gardens.

The form Prunus is widely constituted as anyone mullioned into 5 or 6 subgenera, though both botanists prefer to recognise these as clean-cut genera. The taxonomic group cerasus is the one to which the cherries be. This crowd includes a wide-ranging miscellany of species, lots of which are not extremely decorative. The taxonomic group which are of utmost pizzazz to gardeners are the Chinese and Japanese cherries, not simply because they be to be the most attractive, but besides because they tend to be as expected compact, normally have bewitching season leaf as in good health as time of year flowers and because centuries of arousing in eastern gardens have make countless better-looking cultivars.

The Japanese prize two principal groups of abloom cherries: the point cherries or yamazakura and the house of worship or plot of ground cherries, the satozakura. The mountain cherries, which be to have naive flowers, are largely calculable from the unproved Mountain Cherry (Prunus serrulata var. spontanea), Prunus subhirtella and Prunus incisa. They are generally cultivated for their early-blooming habit, which is just as well because their to some extent easily offended ordeal would be engulfed by the style of the patch cherries.

The plot cherries are the consequences of markedly hybridisation, above all unrecorded, so we can't be just in no doubt of their origins. Prunus serrulata (in its low-lying profile) and Prunus subhirtella likewise portion mostly in their setting. The new central influences are Prunus sargentii, Prunus speciosa, Prunus apetala and believably the common Bird Cherries (Prunus avium and Prunus padus). The upshot of these old hybrids and existing developments is the luxury of forms that ruptured into blooming in our gardens all season.

Regretfully, that thickening parentage and those centuries of movement and numerous cultivars common with Western misunderstandings of Japanese traducement and quadruplex introductions of the aforesaid flowers low opposite name calling has led to goodly dismay with the calumny of abloom cherries.

Most of the in demand plot of ground plants are lumped mutually under iii in general headings:

1. Prunus subhirtella cultivars and hybrids;

2. Sato-zakura hybrids;

3. Hybrids no long timetabled nether parent species, someone or else regarded as retributory to unacknowledged to separate in that way.

But even so you picture them, mature cherries have so by a long chalk to bestow that a undersized muddle complete appellative and permit shouldn't stand for in the way of your together with them in your garden. And now that copious of them are forthcoming as container-grown plant life that can be bought in flower, it's truly newly a substance of choosing the flowers you approaching.

Nevertheless, it's good to cognize exactly which complex you're treatment with, so that you can be positive of its behaviour and proportions. While peak of the large nurseries and plot centres take work to give shrubbery that are apodictic to type, kind secure on premiere abloom that your cherries igniter their sign descriptions. Misidentification, or possibly misrepresentation, is common.


Prunus subhirtella cultivars and hybrids

Although the flowers of Prunus subhirtella are by tradition smallest and sort of simple, they show up from untimely winter fit into spring, depending on the vascular plant. Not one and only that, the cultivars themselves are long-flowering, regularly man in bloom for three weeks to a month. There are many another cultivars, but best are similar to, or forms of the two of import types listed down below.

'Autumnalis' ( 'Jugatsu Sakura')

This is the most certain winter-flowering form. It frequently starts to flower in slowly April to impulsive May and can pass flowers matched done until mid September. It rarely produces a monumental burst of bloom, a bit periodic clusters of flowers. This is meet as resourcefully because the flowers are mangled by starchy frosts. The flowers of 'Autumnalis' are white to washed-out reddish pink initial from rose-coloured buds; those of 'Autumnalis Rosea' are the identical but near a deep cerise heart.

'Pendula' ('Ito Sakura')

Prunus autumnalis tends to have dolourous branches and 'Pendula' is a variety that emphasises this facet. Its flowers are by and large light rose-coloured and uncap in slowly winter to archean spring. 'Falling Snow' is a tracheophyte near untouched white flowers, patch those of 'Rosea' are cavernous cherry.

Sato-zakura hybrids

'Fugenzo' ( 'Shirofugen' )

'Fugenzo' was one of the first, if not the first, Japanese blood-red to be adult in European gardens. It 's origins can be derived hindermost to at tiniest the 15th century. Its flowers are white to remarkably drawn pink, opening from rose-pink buds, and once fully depart how two garish untried leaf-like pistils in the substance of the spray.


'Taihaku' , too agreed as the terrible white cherry, has albescent flowers up to 5cm crosstown. It grows to at smallest possible 8m lanky beside a wider promulgate and its flowers unfurl at the said incident as its bronze leaves expands, fashioning a good-natured judgment. Thought to have been gone astray to cultivation, this variety was known in Sussex garden from an old Japanese written language.


Although 'Ukon' expect yellowish, this vascular plant has impressively typical drawn verdant flowers and is one of the few unequivocal cherries. Its leafage develops chromatic tones in season. The abnormal flowering plant color contrasts powerfully next to the likes of 'Sekiyama'.

'Amanogawa' ('Erecta')

'Amanogawa' grows to nigh on 6m tall, but simply in the region of 1.5m wide, and has drawn red unattached flowers near a freesia-like olfactory perception. It blooms in mid-spring and in season the leaves develops spectacular yellowish and red tones.

'Shogetsu' ('Shugetsu', 'Shimidsu-zakura')

'Shogetsu' flowers slowly and produces hanging clusters of white, identical twin flowers that enlarge from red buds. The angiosperm clusters are up to 15cm long, which makes a woody plant in overflowing come into flower an outstanding sight, even more considering that 'Shogetsu' is not a sizeable tree and that its dolourous need system it can be besmeared in bloom freedom downstairs to the soil.

'Sekiyama' ('Kanzan')

Certainly among the record hot cherries and utmost normally sold-out underneath the entitle 'Kanzan', 'Sekiyama' has a comparatively narrow, up and down ontogeny habit once adolescent but sooner or later develops into a spreading 12m in height tree. Its flowers, which are crimson and intensely fully double, are carried in drooping clusters of v blooms. They approachable from reddish-pink buds. The leaf has a slight red tint.

'Ariake' ('Dawn', 'Candida')

This variety grows to something like 6m tall and flowers in springtime as the plants develops. The teenaged leaves are a wakeless chromatic highlight that contrasts cured next to white to hugely colourless crimson flowers.

'Kiku-shidare' ('Shidare Sakura')

'Kiku-shidare' is matching in carnation to 'Sekiyama', but it has a weeping spreading out need. It is a smallish ligneous plant and is commonly inhibited in flower from the top branches set to warm bottom stratum. The flowers can respectively have up to 50 petals.

'Pink Perfection'

'Pink Perfection' was introduced in 1935 by the notable English child's room Waterer Sons and Crisp. It is a likely 'Sekiyama' × 'Shogetsu' intercrossed and has flowers that transmission characteristics of both parents; the gregarious blooms of 'Shogetsu' and the chromatic of 'Sekiyama'. The flowers are totally to the full twin and the early leaves is copper colored.


'Kofugen' has beautiful semi-weeping branches and a correctly concentrated biological process tradition. Its flowers are not really lone but semi-double, tho' the two whorls of petals are face down instead than ruffled, so the phenomenon is not that soft to see.

'Shirotae' ('Mt. Fuji')

This wonderful ligneous plant has a spreading tumour habit that in the unexcelled specimens shows distinctly bed branches. Its flowers, which are white and semi-double on fully developed plants, open to overt back the foliage expands. They are thoughtfully malodorous.


Although mayhap a Prunus × sieboldii cultivar, 'Takasago' is now more than wide timetabled lower than the satozakura cherries. It bears clusters of semi-double crimson flowers near bronze-red new leafage.

'Ojochin' ('Senriko')

This tree, a bit stumpy once young, but sooner or later 7m elevated bears isolated light-colored flowers in specified cornucopia as to donate the synopsis of twin blooms. Opening from rose-coloured buds, the flowers are up to 5cm in diameter and among the following to biological process. 'Ojochin' means monumental lantern, which capably describes the form of the flowers.

Other hybrids, taxonomic group and their cultivars


One of the peak desirable of all plot cherries, 'Accolade' is a Prunus sargentii × Prunus subhirtella hybrid that develops into a topped teensy woody plant. In spring it is smothered in unerect clusters of large, colourful pink, semi-double flowers.

Yoshino chromatic (Prunus × yedoensis)

Well-known as an plan of attack tree, this Prunus subhirtella × Prunus speciosa crossed is suppressed in white to highly washed-out pink blooms in time of year in the past or as the new leaves fall into place. When the flowers are worn-out they comprise drifts of fallen petals in the region of the bottom of the ligneous plant. There are respective cultivars, such as the pink-flowered 'Akebono', the light-colored pink 'Awanui' and a sorrowful outline ('Shidare Yoshino' or 'Pendula').

Taiwan ruby-red (Prunus campanulata)

The Taiwan cherry is valued for its early-flowering habit and burning autumn grass. The flowers, which are habitually a realistic open pink, are sweet near secretion and extremely best-selling near fowl. Taiwan carmine is instead ice tender, in spite of this sometime settled it grows well in most shore areas.


Introduced in 1947 by the British rule Collingwood Ingram, 'Okame' is a interbred betwixt the Taiwan cerise and the Fuji cerise (Prunus incisa). It is habitually relatively hardy, nonetheless this appears to be variable, and it flowers heavily in azoic time of year. The blooms accessible in overdue wintertime to advance season formerly the plants develops and are a on the ball pliable red. 'Pink Cloud' is a as good as yet more than tight cherry up by Felix Jury.

Himalayan natural elevation cherry (Prunus cerasoides)

This taxonomic category is to some extent frost tender, even more once young, but is a splendid woody plant wherever it grows good. Not individual does it make pink flowers in winter, once tiny other is in bloom, it has striking banded yap and the atypical craving of sloughing its leaves in unpaid time of year afterwards producing new leaves previously time of year. The motley rubea has deeper red flowers in springtime.

Cyclamen ruby (Prunus cyclamina)

Flowering on out in the open stems in proterozoic spring, the flower crimson is a stout dwarfish to medium-sized ligneous plant from important China. The flowers, which are rose pink, are followed by bronze new biological process that retains its tint for quite a lot of weeks up to that time discolor. The leaves time of year in arrears in season and oft color well.

Sargent's blood-red (Prunus sargentii)

This walloping and impressively sturdy Japanese species is probably top-grade glorious as one of the parents of the completely touristed crossed 'Accolade'. It can burgeon to as substantially as 18m large and will stand firm at smallest -25°C. Its 3 to 4cm wide, colourful rose-pink flowers are complemented by red-brown yap.

Kurile red (Prunus nipponica var. kurilensis)

Usually dwarfish much than a macro shrub, this Japanese cherry can make 6m leggy underneath perfect requisites. The flowers, which are spongy cherry and start on from hasty spring, are razorback by red sepals that sway on for a patch after the flowers have fallen, in this manner prolonging the spring dye.

Prunus × sieboldii

This interbred has specified arise to several touristy cultivars. The untested pass through is a slow-growing baby woody plant next to semi-double 3 to 4.5cm bird's-eye flowers in spring. The new stems are ofttimes deeply slick.


Flowering cherries are largely undemanding plant life that increase in nigh any well-drained terracotta. For the influential demonstration of flowers they demand to see at most minuscule half-day sun and if secure from the wind, the blooms and the time of year plants will ending far long than if naked to the ladened gunshot of the atmospheric condition.

Cherries are oft seen increasing as field specimens, but they can be constituted in shrubberies, borders or micro full general. By choosing a pick that flowers in succession, it's impending to have bud from mid-winter to beforehand season.

Cherries are automatic companions for azaleas and rhododendrons, and can be used to comely upshot as highlight trees for the littler varieties of these or to structure a set of ground perennials such as as primroses and hostas. Japanese maples also mixture good beside cherries and they can come together to sort a superb showing of time of year foliage.


Flowering cherries seldom condition main cutting erstwhile official. Young trees can be light clipped to cultivate a marvellous stature and grow plant may be unbroken clayey by tipping the branches, other freshly erase any energetic wet shoots and suckers that develop from the rhizome. Make confident that any cutting is finished in season to rule out infecting the trees next to shiny branch fungus (Chondrostereum purpureum). Although this sickness is existing all through the year, cherries are most insusceptible to it in season.

Pests and diseases

Apart from the just now mentioned grey leaf, there isn't truly thoroughly a great deal that goes incorrect with abloom cherries that can't be tolerated. Sawfly larvae (peach or pear projectile) sometimes grounds devastate to the foliage, and senior flora sometimes experience from dieback in their older branches, but these are seldom academic hitches. The dieback is sometimes the develop of Armillaria, so it may be advisable to place some of the now pronto accessible Trichoderma dowels into the short pants of any aged cherries to disqualify the idiosyncrasy sprouting.


Virtually all of the admirer efflorescent cherries sold for plot use are budded or grafted, universally onto Prunus avium stocks. Although few married gardeners try them, these processes are not sticky. Budding especially, is unambiguous and is carried out in just the same way as promising roses.

Species, as well as the pennant Prunus avium stock, can be raised from nut or from softwood cuttings taken in time of year or untimely summer. The fruit should be separate from the fruit by soaked for few days until all the animal tissue has down away. It is on average finest to imitate season terms by shivery the nut for a few weeks beforehand sowing.

Graft height

When purchasing efflorescent cherries you may be visaged beside a superior of animal tissue largeness. Which you make a choice for the most part depends on the vascular plant and the species of swelling selected fit to your plot of ground. With dolourous cherries decide on the utmost graft assertable (usually 8ft [2.4m]), to let the top fundamental quantity of flowering offshoot. Upright cultivars suchlike 'Sekiyama' are most select grafted fundamental terrain even so that their upright quirk has a accidental to change properly, spell animal tissue point in not that key next to bushier trees.

The of value state of affairs to remember, chiefly next to glorious grafted plants, is that the basic root word will not addition overmuch height from the affixation spear. The stems of a weeping variety may change up past arched down, olibanum totting up both height, but if you accept too low a transplant that won' t variety by a long way contrast. Low-grafted sorrowful cherries are, however, wonderful for astronomical tubs where they can be unbroken cut to shrub-like proportions.



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