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Japanese Flowering CherryPrunus x yedoensis

  • Japanese Flowering Cherry - Prunus x yedoensis
  • Japanese Flowering Cherry - Prunus x yedoensis
  • Japanese Flowering Cherry - Prunus x yedoensis

The Japanese flowering cherry (also known as the Yoshino cherry) is the darling of the flowering tree world and the star of such renowned events as the National and International Cherry Blossom Festivals. This stand-out tree is, of course, known for its vibrant display of white-pink blossoms and faint almond fragrance in the springtime. In the summer, this tree will be a highlight in the yard with its oriental branching pattern, glossy bark, and dark-green leaves.

Hardiness Zones

The japanese flowering 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 Japanese flowering cherry grows to a height of 40–50' and a spread of 25–40' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" 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 Japanese flowering cherry is very versatile—growing in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. While it prefers moist conditions, the tree has some drought tolerance.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Produces an amazing profusion of white-pink flowers March through April.
  • Features alternating leaves with a simple shape, often reddish as they emerge and turning dark green by summer.
  • Yields a round fruit up to 1" that is attractive to birds, resulting in insignificant litter.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.

Wildlife Value

This tree is an important source of food for many small birds and mammals including robins, cardinals and waxwings.

History/Lore

A native of Japan, the tree was introduced to America in 1902. Japanese legend states that each spring a fairy maiden hovers low in the warm sky, awakening the sleeping cherry trees with her delicate breath.

This tree, along with its cousin the Kanzan cherry, is responsible for the spectacular pink blossoming show each spring in Washington, D.C. The first Japanese flowering cherries planted in the nation’s capital were a gift from the mayor of Tokyo.