Prunus x yedoensis
Other common names
Yoshino cherry blossom tree, Tokyo cherry, Potomac cherry. Japanese: Somei-yoshino
Origin of the species name
Prunus is classical Latin for plum or prune; yedoensis means of or from Tokyo, the 'x' indicates that it is a hybrid species
Yoshino cherries can live for over 100 years.
This is a small deciduous tree with a broad vase-shaped crown. Its serrated leaves are often bronze-toned when newly emerged, becoming dark green by summer. The white to pale pink flowers emerge in clusters of five or six before the leaves in early spring. The fruit, a small inedible cherry, is produced in small numbers. In autumn, the leaves turn brilliant reds. Height 9m Spread 6m.
Natural distribution and habitat
It is believed to be a natural hybrid from Japan coming from a cross between Prunus lannesiana (syn. P. speciosa) and Prunus pendula (syn. P. subhirtella).
Although it has no official conservation status, it is a unique natural hybrid that has played a significant role in the Japanese landscape.
Cherry blossom is a national symbol of Japan. Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century. Somei-yoshino is their most popular and widely planted cherry tree and is the city tree of Tokyo. Its name comes from its extensive plantings on Mount Yoshino where it may have been planted since the 1700s. It produces both a cough suppressant and a chemical that can be used for inflammatory syndromes, but it has not yet been extensively used.
A regular square grid pattern.
Yamaguchi L. and V. K. Murakami-Tsuda ( 2007) Sakura: Beautiful Flowering Trees of Japan. Japanese American National Museum.