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Autumn Flowering Higan CherryPrunus subhirtella

  • Autumn Flowering Higan Cherry - Prunus subhirtella
  • Autumn Flowering Higan Cherry - Prunus subhirtella

This spectacular, fast-growing flowering cherry tree is a landscape stand-out with seasonal interest. It is famous for its ability to produce lovely pink buds and white flowers off and on during a warm autumn season and then fully flower in the spring. In addition to the sporadic fall bloom, the foliage turns bronze, yellow, gold or deep-red tinged to contribute to the beauty of the season. And attractive bark adds winter interest.

All of this combined with the fact that the tree is more cold-hardy, heat- and stress-tolerant and long-lived than other ornamental cherry trees makes the autumn flowering Higan cherry a versatile ornamental choice.

Hardiness Zones

The autumn flowering higan cherry can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 5–8. View Map

Tree Type

This tree is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is typically planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.

Mature Size

The autumn flowering Higan cherry grows to a height of 20–30' and a spread of 15–30' at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The autumn flowering Higan cherry grows in acidic, moist, loamy, well-drained and clay soils.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Produces showy, ¾" semi-double, 10-petal flowers that go through a multitude of color changes from bud to full bloom--deep pink in bud, turning to light pink when open and fading to almost white when fully open.
  • Blooms sporadically in a warm fall then fully flowers the following spring.
  • Is more cold-hardy, heat- and stress-tolerant and long-lived than other ornamental cherry trees.
  • Features simple, lustrous dark green leaves that are ovate to oblong-ovate and 1–4" in length. They often have doubly serrated margins.
  • Develops delicate, upright branching that is broad and spreading.
  • Yields pea-sized black berries that serve as a wildlife food source.
  • Provides fall color in shades of bronze, yellow, gold or deep red-tinged.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.

Wildlife Value

Birds eat the small, black, bitter berry-like fruits produced in the summer.

History/Lore

The autumn flowering Higan cherry is one of several cherry trees in the Tidal Basin of Washington, D.C. This area is the focus of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.