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Autumn Flowering Higan CherryPrunus subhirtella var. autumnalis

  • Autumn Flowering Higan Cherry - Prunus 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. The tree 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 four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

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


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.


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.