“Pretty please, with a cherry on top!”

The following are five of the best flowering cherries suitable for growing in the Pacific Northwest. All have good resistance to brown rot blossom blight disease and are good choices size-wise for the home garden.  All specimens below are currently in some stage of flowering along our historic Azalea Way Promenade.

Selected cherry tree specimens from the Azalea Way Promenade at the Washington Park Arboretum, (April 10-23, 2017)
David Zuckerman
Selected cherry tree specimens from the Azalea Way Promenade at the Washington Park Arboretum, (April 10-23, 2017)

1)   Prunus  x yedoensis  ‘Akebono’                 Daybreak Yoshino Cherry

  • ‘Akebono’ (“Daybreak”) – This form has pinker flowers than the original Yoshino-type, and the petals are more frilled. In Japan, it is called amerika (“America”) since indeed this is an American plant, an outcrossing made by W. B. Clarke of San Jose, California during the 1930s.
  • Size comparison against Yoshino-types of the same age in the Arboretum indicates ‘Akebono’ is a smaller growing cherry, too.

2)   Prunus  ‘Cascade Snow’                              Cascade Snow Flowering Cherry

  • The parent plant of this selection is at the Berry Botanic Garden in Portland, Oregon.  The tree was originally imported from Japan, but the records have been since lost. It may in fact be an old Japanese cultivar (Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden).  Jacobson (1996) suggests it might be P. ‘Shirayuki’.

3)   Prunus sargentii  ‘JFS-KW58’                     Pink Flair Flowering Cherry

  • J. Frank Schmidt (JFS) introduction
  • Narrow and upright in form, but compact in height.
Prunus serrulata ‘Shirotae’ (Mt Fuji)
David Zuckerman
Close-up photo of Prunus serrulata  ‘Shirotae’
(Mt Fuji)

4)   Prunus serrulata ‘Shirotae’                                                  Mount Fuji Flowering Cherry

  • An old Japanese cultivar. Mount Fuji is the holy Japanese volcano covered with eternal snow. Shirotae is a Japanese word for a fine, white cloth made from the bark of the paper mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera.

5)   Prunus serrulata  ‘Sekiyama’                                          Kwanzan Flowering Cherry

  • The most popular late-flowering, double pink, upright-flowering cherry cultivar.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>