Kanzan (or Kwanzan) is one of the classic Japanese flowering cherries - easily recognised by its large size, upright vase-shaped vigorous growth, and the mass of deep pink flowers.
It is probably the most widely-grown ornamental cherry tree in the UK.
Japanese flowering cherries are often categorised by the number of petals which form the flower, and Kanzan is a typical "double-flower", meaning the flowers have between 25-50 petals. The more petals the more intense the blossom will be, and this is perhaps the main reason for Kanzan's popularity - its flowers can have 8-10 times more petals than the simpler single-flowered forms, giving it a much more profuse blossom display.
The new leaves appear at the same time as the blossom, and are initially a coppery bronze colour. They take on orange and red tints in the autumn.
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Kanzan is one of the most cold-hardy of the double-flowered cherries.
Prunus Kanzan is a traditional Japanese flowering cherry of ancient origin. The Japanese word 'Kanzan' means 'mountain border', suggesting that perhaps these trees were first discovered growing in mountainous areas.
When first brought to the UK this variety was known as Kwanzan, a mis-translation of the original name.