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Autumn Flowering Higan CherryPrunus subhirtella

  • 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 variety has many unique qualities that make it a perfect addition to your yard. The autumn flowering cherry tree, also known as the autumn blooming higan cherry, is famous for the ability to produce lovely pink buds and white flowers off and on during a warm autumn season and then fully flower in the spring. The showy, ¾" semi-double, 10 petal flowers go through a multitude of color changes from bud to full bloom to fading. Deep pink in bud, turning to light pink when open and fading to almost white when fully open. This quality alone would make it a landscape standout by adding color to your yard in the fall season. In addition to the potential for two blooming seasons, this cherry tree has reliable fall foliage that turns bronze, yellow, gold or deep-red tinged; pea-sized black berries for wildlife; and an attractive bark for winter interest. The delicate, upright branching is broad and spreading, often as wide as the tree is tall. It is more cold-hardy, heat- and stress-tolerant, and long-lived than other ornamental cherry trees. All this makes it a good choice for landscaping needs. Acidic, moist, well-drained, loam, clay. Full sun to partial shade. 20'–30' high with a 15'–30' spread. (zones 5-8)

Hardiness Zones

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

Tree Type

This is a flowering tree, typically planted for its profusion of 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.

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.