Flowering cherry treesThe flowering cherries are perhaps the most beautiful of ornamental trees.
How to choose Flowering cherry trees
The flowering cherries offer perhaps the most beautiful and attractive blossom of all tree species. They originate from mountainous areas of China and Japan, but are easy to grow in the UK. They are usually cold-hardy and disease-resistant, and have some tolerance of poor soils including clay or chalk soils.
Whilst the spring blossom is the main attraction, many flowering cherries have autumn interest as well, when the leaves often take on yellow, red, and golden tints before leaf fall.
The flowering cherries comprise many related species within the genus Prunus, and as a result there is a considerable choice of size and form, from small compact trees which will suit the smaller garden, to weeping forms, columnar (fastigiate) forms, and large vigorous trees suitable for open spaces.
Flowering cherries started to become popular with western gardeners in the late 19th century, when plant enthusiasts first travelled to Japan and become aware of the beauty and diversity of these species. The flowering cherries have held a special place in Japanese culture for centuries, and the ancient cultivated traditional varieties are known as "sato-zakura" or "village cherries". However many species also grow wild on mountain sides and in the more remote areas. Indeed Japanese flowering cherries are often considered as a separate sub-group of the flowering cherries, characterised by their Japanese origin and large semi-double flowers.
The combination of original Japanese names, the inherent diversity of the many species, and frequent (and contradictory) re-classifications by botanists based on observed common characteristics and differences means that a typical flowering cherry can be known by numerous names - English, Japanese, and Latin (and often several of each). Further scope for confusion lies with the fact that some flowering cherries are closely related to fruiting plums and cherries which have long been grown in western countries. To keep things as simple as possible we have generally listed the varieties we sell using the common western variety name (e.g. Sargent's Cherry or Accolade), or the Latin species name if no variety name exists (e.g. Prunus serrula). However where possible all our flowering cherry descriptions also include the currently accepted botanical name (e.g. Prunus x subhirtella 'Autumnalis Rosea').