Prunus yedoensis


Tokyo Cherry, Yoshino Cherry

  • Prunus x yedoensis

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Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 90 -120 days
Germination: sow1 deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

"Prunus x yedoensis Tokyo Cherry, Yoshino Cherry"

Prunus x yedoensis, also known as Tokyo Cherry or Yoshino Cherry, is a beloved flowering cherry tree that is native to Japan. This hybrid species is a result of the cross between Prunus speciosa (Oshima zakura) and Prunus pendula f. ascendens (Edo higan). It is now one of the most popular and widely planted cultivated flowering cherries (sakura) in temperate climates worldwide.

One of the unique aspects of Prunus x yedoensis is that it is a clone from a single tree and extensively propagated through grafting techniques. This ensures that the characteristics of this beautiful cherry tree are preserved and consistently reproduced. It was introduced to Europe and North America in 1902, where it quickly gained popularity and became a cherished ornamental tree.

The Yoshino cherry is well-known for its stunning display of fragrant flowers that emerge before the leaves in early spring. The flowers are approximately 3 to 3.5 centimeters in diameter, with five white or pale pink petals. They grow in clusters of five or six together, creating a breathtaking sight when in full bloom. The Yoshino cherry's blooming period marks the arrival of spring and is celebrated in various festivals around the world.

Aside from its aesthetic appeal, Prunus x yedoensis also contributes to the ecological balance. The small cherry fruits produced by this tree are an important source of food for many small birds and mammals, including robins and thrushes. However, the fruit is only marginally sweet to the human palate.

In terms of cultivation, Prunus x yedoensis thrives in hardiness zones 5-8 and does well in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It grows to be approximately 5 to 12 meters tall, with its leaves ranging from 6 to 15 centimeters in length. The leaves have a serrated margin and are often bronze-toned when they emerge, turning dark green in summer.

There have been various debates surrounding the origin of the Yoshino cherry. Some believed it originated in Yoshino District, Nara, while others suggested Jeju Island, South Korea. However, DNA fingerprinting technology has concluded that Prunus x yedoensis is clonally propagated from the same hybrid offspring of Prunus lannesiana (Oshima zakura) and Prunus pendula (Edo higan). It is important to note that Oshima zakura is an endemic species found only in the Izu Islands and Izu and Bōsō Peninsulas, not in Korea. Therefore, the claim that Jeju flowering cherry is the same species as Yoshino cherry remains a subject of debate.

In conclusion, Prunus x yedoensis Tokyo Cherry, or Yoshino Cherry, is a magnificent flowering cherry tree that brings beauty and elegance to any landscape. With its delicate and fragrant blossoms, it is a symbol of spring and renewal. Whether planted in gardens, parks, or along streets, this beloved cherry tree continues to captivate and inspire people around the world.

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