Prunus serrulata Lindl.
A deciduous tree sparsely branched; shoots quite glabrous. Leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 3 to 5 in. long, 11⁄4 to 21⁄2 in. wide, long and taper-pointed, toothed (sometimes doubly), quite glabrous on both surfaces, rather glaucous beneath. Flowers in short-stalked racemose clusters of two to five, white or tinged with rose, 1 to 13⁄4 in. across, double, not scented, individual stalks up to 11⁄2 in. long; they open in April and early May along with the young leaves. Fruit a small black cherry.
P. serrulata, in the typical form described above,- is a garden plant of China, introduced to Britain in 1822 from Canton. It is no longer very common in gardens, having been replaced by double-flowered varieties of Japanese origin (see Sato Zakura, p. 399). From any of these with similar flowers it is easily distinguished by its gaunt, flat-topped habit, and its rather small, scentless flowers.
Many species of plants native to E. Asia first became known in Europe in the form of garden varieties differing from the wild prototype in doubleness of flower or in some other character. Later, when the wild plants were discovered and needed a name, they had to become varieties of the garden plant first described. And so in this instance. For P. serrulata is considered to be no more than a garden derivative of the hill cherry of China and Japan, which has to be distinguished as a variety of P. serrulata, namely:
var. spontanea (Maxim.) Wils. P. pseudocerasus var. spontanea Maxim.; P. jamasakura Sieb. ex Koidz.; P. mutabilis Miyoshi Hill Cherry. – A tree 40 to 60 ft high, more or less glabrous in all its parts; bark brownish or greyish, marked with prominent and persistent lenticels. Leaves usually reddish brown when unfolding, elliptic-ovate to obovate-oblong, 3 to 41⁄2 in. long, 11⁄4 to 17⁄8 in. wide, acuminate at the apex, cuneate at the base, deep green above, dull and slightly glaucous beneath, simply or slightly double-serrate, the teeth ending in short bristles. Inflorescence a few-flowered corymb. Flowers white or pink, mostly 3⁄4 to 1 in. wide; calyx lobes entire. Fruits dark purplish red when ripe, about 1⁄4 in. wide.
The hill cherry or Yamazakura is best known from Japan, of which it is the national tree. ‘It has been venerated, one might almost say worshipped, for so many centuries that it has now become inextricably associated with the lore and legend of the land. … There is hardly a shrine or temple or park in the whole country that is not adorned with a Cherry of some sort, while in many country districts they have been planted in such vast numbers that in spring and again in autumn, they literally dominate the scene’ (C. Ingram, Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 69 (1944), p. 126). In this article, Collingwood Ingram argues that the hill cherry was introduced to Japan from China, like so many other of its favourite garden plants, and remarks that during his many plant-hunting excursions in Japan he never met with the hill cherry growing at any distance from human habitations.
In China, the var. spontanea is truly wild in the mountains of the western provinces, whence it was introduced by Wilson in 1900 when collecting for Messrs Veitch. Trees from this seed have a greyish bark and the young leaves are not brightly tinted as is usual in the Japanese trees. They have been distinguished by Ingram as var. hupehensis, but the difference is scarcely of botanical significance.
The Japanese hill cherry is variable in the colouring of the unfolding leaves, in size and colour of flower, and in autumn colouring. The finest forms, and the most admired in Japan, are those with white flowers borne simultaneously with the copper-coloured young leaves. But in no form is it really common in Britain, where the more highly bred and larger-flowered garden cherries are much more widely planted. But at its best the hill cherry is one of the most beautiful of April-flowering trees. A.M. 1936.
var. pubescens (Nakai) Wils. P. jamasakura var. pubescens Nakai; ? P. jamasakura var. verecunda Koidz.; ? P. verecunda (Koidz.) Koehne – Leaves, at least beneath, petioles and sometimes the inflorescence-axes downy; leaves green beneath, with coarser teeth than in the var. spontanea. Native of China, Korea, and Japan. It is represented in this country mainly by plants deriving from Collingwood Ingram’s introduction from Seoul, Korea. The common clone of commerce is a fast-growing, fairly broad-crowned tree with pink flowers; the leaves are rather dull brown as they unfold, but colour splendidly in October.
Japanese Garden Cherries
An important group of ornamental cherries evolved in the gardens of Japan over the past two or three centuries. Although their origin is obscure, there is no doubt that many of them derive from the Oshima cherry, P. speciosa (P. lannesiana f. albida). In these the unfolding leaves are green or only slightly tinged with yellow or bronze, and their teeth end in long, slender bristles; the flowers are white or pale pink and usually fragrant; the bark is smooth and grey. Wilson, in The Cherries of Japan, placed these varieties under P. lannesiana. In others the young leaves are more richly tinted in shades of bronze or copper, the leaf-teeth are not so finely tipped, the flowers are not fragrant, and the bark is dark chestnut brown. These, e.g., ‘Kanzan’ and ‘Fugenzo’, were considered by Wilson to be forms of P. serrulata var. sachalinensis, i.e., P. sargentii. Collingwood Ingram doubts whether P. sargentii played any part in the development of the Sato Zakura, but considers that the hill cherry (P. serrulata var. spontanea) enters into their parentage.
However, under modern conventions of garden nomenclature, there is no need to be bothered with the taxonomic position of these cherries. It is perfectly correct to place the cultivar name immediately after the generic name., e.g., Prunus ‘Kanzan’. In the present work they are placed under the heading P. serrulata only because it has been usual in this country, as a matter of convenience, to treat them all as varieties of that species. In Japan they are known collectively as the Sato Zakura, literally ‘domestic cherries’.
The most important work on this group is Manabu Miyoshi’s ‘Die Japanische Bergkirschen’, in Journ. Coll. Sci. Imp. Univ. Tokyo, Vol. 34 (1916). This contains a detailed description and coloured illustration of every variety of Sato Zakura growing in the then famous cherry collection at Kohoku on the river Arakawa, west of Tokyo, which was planted in 1886 by Kengo Shimidsu. In Miyoshi’s time the collection had been half-destroyed by the reconstruction of the river embankment, but a complete duplicate collection was established in the Botanic Garden of Tokyo University. The original collection came from Magoemon’s nursery and therefore represented varieties then available in commerce, but it was certainly not comprehensive. For example, there is no mention in Miyoshi’s work of the cherry later named ‘Hokusai’, though this had been introduced to Europe before 1886. Other notable omissions are ‘Tai Haku’ and various cherries later introduced to Britain by Collingwood Ingram from Japanese temple gardens.
The standard British work on the Sato Zakura is contained it. Part III of Collingwood Ingram’s classic Ornamental Cherries (1948). Various problems of identification and naming are dealt with by Dr Mary Mountain in a valuable unpublished thesis, of which a copy is preserved in the Lindley Library of the Royal Horticultural Society. Other works dealing in part with the Sato Zakura are: E. H. Wilson, The Cherries of Japan (1916); Paul Russell, Oriental Flowering Cherries (US Dept. Agric. Circ. 313 (1934)); Geoffrey Chadbund, Flowering Cherries (1972).
Grafted on gean, as they now always are, the Sato Zakura will grow well in any average soil. They do not take kindly to regular pruning, nor do they need it. Any cutting needed to restrict size or to improve the shape of the tree should be done in early summer and the wound sealed at once with some proprietary compound such as ‘Arbrex’.
P. serrulata f. erecta Miyoshi; P. lannesiana f. erecta (Miyoshi) Wils.
A variety of strictly fastigiate growth, more so even than a Lombardy poplar. Young foliage yellowish. Flowers pink, fragrant, semi-double (about nine petals), sometimes developing the small, black fruits. Early to mid-May. A.G.M. 1931.
P. serrulata f. candida Miyoshi; P. lannesiana f. ariake (Koidz.) Wils.
Young leaves bronze-coloured. Flowers single or occasionally with a few extra petals, pink in the bud, opening white slightly flushed with pink (as in ‘Ojochin’), about 21⁄4 in. wide. It makes a sparsely branched tree up to 15 or 20 ft high and as much wide. Although not in the front rank of ornamental cherries, it has a good constitution and is recommended by Chadbund for cold and exposed localities.
‘Botan’ (P. serrulata f. moutan Miyoshi) is similar, but of poor constitution.
P. serrulata f. geraldinae Ingram
This cherry closely resembles ‘Kiku Shidare’ but is of upright habit. Introduced from Japan by Collingwood Ingram, and named by him (Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 54, pp. 168-9). The flowers are mauvish pink.
P. (Cerasus) Chealii pendula Hort. ex Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 41 (1915), p. lxiii
A weeping tree with steeply pendulous branches. Leaves lanceolate. Flowers pink, very double, 1 to 11⁄4 in. wide. Late April. A.M. 1915.
This cherry is often wrongly known by the Japanese name ‘Kiku Shidare Zakura’ (Weeping Chysanthemum Cherry), a later name which properly belongs to another cherry with similar flowers, but with branches which ascend from the trunk before arching downwards.
Unfolding leaves yellowish green. Flower-buds dark purplish red, very thick, with a broad, truncated end, opening towards the end of April. Inflorescence a loose, drooping corymb with a long, stout peduncle. Flowers over 2 in. across, purplish pink, with fifty or more petals and a cluster of leafy carpels at the centre. Calyx-lobes long and narrow. This cherry was named and described by Colling-wood Ingram in 1925 (Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 50, p. 85). Previously it had been called ‘Beni-fugen’, which is properly an alternative name for ‘Fugenzo’. It appears to be very rare in Japan and is not described in Miyoshi’s work. Daikoku is the name of the Japanese God of Prosperity.
A cherry grown in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley as ‘Fugenzo’ and at Kew as ‘Beni-fugen’ is near to ‘Daikoku’ but differs, according to Miss Mountain, in its wide calyx-lobes and in the presence of a tuft of petals in the centre of the flower. She considers this cherry to be ‘Kurama-yama’, cultivated under that name in the USA and described by Paul Russell (op. cit.).
P. serrulata f. semperflorens Miyoshi; P. lannesiana f. fudanzakura (Koidz.) Wils.
This cherry is notable for bearing its flowers sporadically throughout the winter and early spring. They are white, single, the precocious ones small, in sessile clusters, but those borne at the normal time are larger, and the clusters stalked. ‘It is chiefly for indoor decoration that this cherry is valuable. If the boughs are cut and brought into the house at any time between the New Year and mid-March, the flowers will open in a few days’ (Ingram, Orn. Cherries, p. 211). There are two old trees of this variety in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley, on Weather Hill. A.M. 1930.
P. pseudocerasus ‘James H. Veitch’; P. serrulata f. classica Miyoshi, in part; P. serrulata f. fugenzo Makino, in part; P. ‘Kofugen’; P. ‘Benifugen’
Of spreading habit, with a rounded crown and intercrossing branches. Leaves finely toothed, richly copper-coloured when young. Flowers two or three in pendent clusters, rose-pink, very double (thirty-five or so petals), with two leafy carpels at the centre. It is one of the last of the Sato Zakura to bloom, usually in the second week of May. F.C.C. 1899.
Strictly, the name ‘Fugenzo’ is applicable both to the pink-flowered tree described above, and to ‘Shirofugen’, but in western gardens it is always used for the former, the correct name for which is really ‘Kofugen’ or ‘Benifugen’.
Under this name Collingwood Ingram describes a cherry with coppery-red young foliage and rosy-pink flowers, which are single or with a few extra petals, borne in loose corymbs of two to four in the second half of April. The Choshiu-Hisakura, described by Koidzumi and Miyoshi, appears to be similar but with flowers of a deep pink. Both writers evidently considered this to be one of the most beautiful of cherries, the former praising its flowers as ‘valde pulcherrimi’, but whether it is in cultivation it is impossible to say.
The name ‘Hisakura’ was at one time commonly but wrongly used for ‘Kanzan’.
‘Benden’ (P. serrulata rubida Miyoshi) is similar to ‘Hisakura’ but the flowers are paler pink and borne earlier, about mid-April. It makes a vigorous tree and colours orange in the autumn (C. Ingram, Orn. Cherries, p. 221).
Young leaves bronzy, becoming dark green and rather leathery when mature. Flowers about 2 in. wide, semi-double (up to twelve petals), borne late April in loose corymbs. This cherry was in commerce originally under such names as Cerasus flore roseo pleno and was renamed ‘Hokusai’ by Collingwood Ingram in 1925, after Prof. Miyoshi had confirmed that it was not among the cherries described in his work, and lacked a Japanese name. It is probably the cherry figured in Flore des Serres in 1874 (t. 2238), in which case it is the oldest in gardens of the Sato Zakura. Capt. Ingram’s original tree, planted in 1892, attained a height of 25 ft and twice that in spread; it broke in two in 1953 and had to be removed. The avenue of ‘Hokusai’ at Minterne Abbey, Dorset, mentioned in previous editions, has been decimated by honey-fungus.
It has been stated that ‘Hokusai’ is the same as the cherry named ‘Udsu Zakura’ (P. serrulata f. spiralis Miyoshi). But according to Miyoshi’s figure and description that is an entirely different cherry, with very double flowers (about thirty petals), borne in umbels. ‘Hokusai’ has also been grown as P. serrulata amabilis, a name properly belonging to ‘Higurashi’, which is probably not in cultivation.
‘Hokusai’ is one of the best cherries for British gardens. It has a long flowering season, often extending into May, and the leaves colour well in the autumn.
P. serrulata f. decora Miyoshi; P. serrulata var. sachalinensis f. horinji Wils.
A small, sparsely branched erect tree. Leaves lanceolate, yellowish brown when young. Flowers semi-double (about fifteen petals), about 13⁄4 in. wide, pale pink; calyx purplish brown. Late April to early May. Collingwood Ingram considers this to be among the most beautiful of the cherries, despite its rather ungainly habit. A.M. 1935.
P. serrulata f. unifolia Miyoshi
Leaves pale brown when young, soon becoming green. Flowers pale pink, double (about twenty-five petals), 17⁄8 in. across, in a drooping cluster, each flower with one or two leafy carpels in the centre. ‘There is a refined quality about its flowers that is lacking in many of the cultivated varieties. This is due, not only to the purity of their soft pink colour, but also to the open, somewhat disc-like form of the individual bloom. Owing to the petals being arranged in two rather tightly packed tiers, the flowers have a compact and evenly circular shape, with a slightly frilled edge’ (Ingram, Orn. Cherries, p. 219). It flowers at mid-season (late April to early May) and attains about 25 ft in height and width. A.M. 1959.
‘This is a fairly distinct cherry, characterised in mid-season by its dense, glistening grass-green foliage. Compared with other varieties, the immature leaves are also of a brighter and paler copper-red colour. … The soft mauvy-pink flowers, about 4-5 cm across, are completely double, having from twenty-five to thirty petals’ (Ingram, Orn. Cherries, p. 242). It is a vigorous cherry, ultimately attaining, according to Chadbund, a height of 30 ft and a width of 25 ft. The leaves turn yellow before falling in November. ‘Imosé’, which is not described in Miyoshi’s work, was introduced by Collingwood Ingram in 1927 from the Hirano Shrine, Kyoto.
P. serrulata f. affinis Miyoshi; P. lannesiana f.jonioi Wils.
Leaves with fairly large, finely tapered teeth, pale golden brown when young. Flowers white, single, about 11⁄2 in. across, gorse-scented, borne late April and early May. Miss Mountain has questioned whether the tree grown as ‘Jo-nioi’ is really the true variety, which according to Miyoshi has steeply ascending branches, whereas the cultivated tree is of normal spreading habit; also, the true ‘Jo-nioi’ has an upright inflorescence owing to the thick flower-stalks, which is not really true of the tree cultivated here.
In ‘Taki-nioi’ the habit is spreading and the young leaves are reddish bronze. The flowers are similar to those of the cultivated ‘Jo-nioi’ but borne very late in the cherry season (about mid-May).
P. serrulata f. purpurascens Miyoshi; P. serrulata var. sachalinensis f. sekiyama (Koidz.)
Wils.; P. ‘Sekiyama’; P. ‘Kwanzan’; P. “Hisakura”
A vigorous cherry, ultimately 40 ft high and as much wide. Leaves bronzy when young and remaining so for a time after they are fully expanded; toothing simple short. Flowers crimson in the bud, opening purplish rose, 21⁄4 in. across, with about thirty petals; carpels mostly leafy. Flowering season end April or early May. Autumn colour bronzy orange. The most widely planted of the Sato Zakura and understandably so, for it is of excellent constitution, very free-flowering and of the right habit for street-planting. Its only fault, apart from the impure pink of its flowers, is that in gardens it usurps the place of other cherries of more charm and character, and that it is too often planted in country districts, where it is grossly out of place in the spring landscape. A.G.M. 1930.
‘Kanzan’ (usually spelt ‘Kwanzan’ in the USA) and ‘Sekiyama’ are two renderings of the ideogram for a Chinese mountain sacred to Buddhists, the first being the Chinese name as pronounced in Japan, the second its name in the Japanese language. ‘Hisakura’ is an old and erroneous trade-name for it.
The cherry ‘Kirin’ (P. serrulata f. atrorubra Miyoshi) is similar to ‘Kanzan’ but is of more spreading habit, with denser inflorescences.
P. serrulata f. diversiflora Miyoshi; P. lannesiana f. mikuramakaisi (Koidz.) Wils.;
P. serrulata ‘Temari’ of Ingram in Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 50 (1925), p. 87
A small tree with ascending main stems, on which most of the flower-spurs are directly borne. Leaves short-toothed, pale brown when unfolding, soon green. Flowers single or semi-double, pale pink, about 2 in. wide, borne in compact almost sessile clusters. End April. A.M. 1946.
This cherry, as cultivated in Britain, descends from a plant at Kew which was identified by Wilson as ‘Temari’ on the basis of a specimen sent to him in America. But Collingwood Ingram, who at first used that name in his writings, later established that this cherry agrees better with Miyoshi’s ‘Mikurama-Gaeshi’.
A vigorous cherry of rather stiff habit, with broadly ovoid winter growth-buds and roundish inflorescence-buds. Leaves bronzy green when young, rather leathery when mature, many of the leaves rounded at the apex, i.e., lacking the usual acuminate tip. Flowers single or with a few extra petals, about 13⁄4 in. wide, pink in the bud, white flushed with pink when expanded; petals roundish. Flowering time end April and early May. A.G.M. 1926.
This cherry, for which ‘Ojochin’ is now the established name, really agrees better with the cherry described by Miyoshi under the Japanese name ‘Senriko’ (P. serrulata f. picta), but as the two are so similar it is perhaps best to ignore the discrepancy. The matter is discussed by Mary Mountain in her thesis.
P. serrulata f. conspicua Miyoshi
‘In the colour of its blossom Oshokun is perhaps the most lovely of all the Japanese Cherries, for none have flowers of a purer or deeper blush-pink; but in the habit of growth it is perhaps the ugliest. … In twenty years my plants are scarcely more than 6 or 8 ft high, with gaunt, twisted boughs. … Carmine-red in the bud stage, the single flowers fade to a lovely malmaison pink when fully expanded. They are of medium size, and are borne in multiple and rather short-stalked clusters, usually towards the ends of the branches’ (C. Ingram, Orn. Cherries, pp. 221-2).
This cherry was raised by Messrs Waterer, Son and Crisp in 1935 from a seed of ‘Shimidsu’ (‘Okumiyako’). The pollen-parent is presumed to have been ‘Kanzan’. It resembles the latter more than it does the seed-parent and flowers at about the same time, but the flowers are a clearer pink, and the young leaves a paler shade of bronze. It is of vase-shaped habit, and attains 25 ft in height and as much in width. A.M. 1945.
P. ‘Okumiyako’ and P. serrulata f. longipes sens. Ingram in Journ. R.H.S., Vol. 50 (1925), p. 89, not Miyoshi; P. ‘Miyako’ of some authors, not P. lannesiana f. miyako Wils.
Leaves pale brown when young, their teeth ending in long thread-like points. Flowers pink in the bud, opening pure white, semi-double, about 2 in. wide, borne in unusually long, pendulous corymbs of three to six, each with two leafy carpels in the centre; petals frilled. This lovely cherry is one of the last to bloom, usually around the middle of May, at the same time as ‘Shirofugen’ and ‘Fugenzo’. There is a fine coloured illustration of it in Geoffrey Chadbund’s Flowering Cherries (Plate 5), which shows the rounded crown characteristic of this variety. It is not a strong grower. A.G.M. 1933.
‘Shimidsu’ was introduced to cultivation early this century and was originally identified as being the cherry that Miyoshi described under the name P. serrulata longipes, with the vernacular name ‘Okumiyako’. Later, however, Collingwood Ingram ascertained that it was not that variety and coined a new name for it – ‘Shimidsu Zakura’ – in honour of the Japanese founder of the famous collection of Sato Zakura on the Arakawa river. Recently, Mary Mountain, in her unpublished thesis, has suggested that this cherry should correctly be known as ‘Shogetsu’, and certainly it agrees quite well with Miyoshi’s description under that name, and is probably the same as the ‘Shogetsu’ of American gardens.
P. serrulata f. classica Miyoshi, in part; P. s. var. sachalinensis f. albo-rosea (Mak.) Wils.;
P. serrulata f. fugenzo subf. alborosea Mak.
A vigorous cherry of spreading habit. Leaves deep crimson-bronze when young, almost fully expanded at flowering-time but still richly coloured then. Flowers very double (about thirty petals,) pink in the bud, white when first open but ageing to pale mauvish pink with a deeper coloured centre; carpels two, leafy. This is one of the last of the Sato Zakura to flower (mid-May or even later) and one of the most beautiful. Because of its flat-topped, wide spreading crown it needs more room than most of this group – the fine specimen at Kew is almost 40 ft wide. A.G.M. 1959. It is closely related to ‘Fugenzo’ (q.v.).
P. serrulata f. albida Miyoshi; P. lannesiana f. sirotae (Koidz.) Wils.; P. pseudocerasus ‘Mount Fuji’ of Yokohama Nurseries; P. serrulata ‘Kojima’ Ingram (Journ. R.H.S.,Vol. 50 (1925), p. 90)
Leaves pale green when young, their teeth, and those of the bracts, ending in unusually long thread-like tips; stipules narrow, much dissected. Flowers white, fragrant, about 2 in. wide, semi-double, in pendent corymbs, produced early in the cherry season – early to mid-April. It is, with ‘Tai Haku’, the loveliest of the white-flowered Sato Zakura. It is of spreading habit, ultimately 30 ft wide, and best grown as a standard.
The nomenclature of this cherry is confused. It was originally imported from the Yokohama Nurseries as ‘Mount Fuji’ but was renamed ‘Kojima’ in 1925. Subsequently it was identified with the ‘Shirotae’ of Miyoshi and more recently it has been suggested that its correct name is ‘Hosokawa’. This variety has long-peduncled inflorescences, as in the ‘Shirotae’ of our gardens, whereas the true ‘Shirotae’, as described and figured by Miyoshi, has a short-peduncled inflorescence. In other respects the two are very similar.
P. serrulata f. campanuloides Miyoshi; P. serrulata var. sachalinensis f. shujaku Wils.
Leaves yellowish bronze when unfolding, with rather small, short-aristate teeth. Flowers slightly bell-shaped, about 15⁄8 in. wide, semi-double (up to fifteen petals), pale pink, produced in corymbs of four to six at the end of April or early in May. This little-known cherry is recommended by Geoffrey Chadbund in his Flowering Cherries; he gives the ultimate size as 15 by 15 ft.
‘Yae-akebono’ (P. serrulata versicolor Miyoshi) is similar to ‘Shujaku’ but the flowers are larger (up to 13⁄4 in. wide) and fewer in each corymb (three to five). It is subject to brown rot (Ingram, Orn. Cherries, p. 228). Another cherry in this group is ‘Okiku’, but this, like ‘Yae-akebono’, is disease-prone and of poor habit. For a description see: C. Ingram, op. cit, p. 224.
The cherry cultivated under this name in Britain was introduced originally by Collingwood Ingram from the Arnold Arboretum. As he has pointed out, it differs from the ‘Sumizome’ of Wilson, which was described as having large, single flowers, white flushed with pink, and also with the ‘Sumizome’ of Miyoshi, which has decidedly small, white single flowers. In the present plant the flowers are double, with twelve to fourteen petals, soft pink, and almost 2 in. wide. Young leaves bronzy green.
Great White Cherry
A very vigorous tetraploid cherry, closely related to the wild hill cherry. Leaves reddish bronze when unfolding, very large when mature (up to 8 in. long), with pronounced ‘drip-tips’. Flowers pure white, up to 21⁄2 in. wide, saucer-shaped, single, on short pedicels, produced in mid- or late April. This is a lovely cherry whose pure white flowers contrast with the richly coloured young leaves. The foliage is healthy and handsome, and turns yellow or orange before falling. The bark, too, attracts attention with its very prominent brown lenticels. It grows 20 to 25 ft high and somewhat more in width. F.C.C. 1944.
‘Tai Haku’ is an old Japanese variety, once grown in the neighbourhood of Kyoto, which for some unknown reason became extinct there. All the existing plants descend from one half-dead bush found by Collingwood Ingram in 1923 in a Sussex garden, whose owner had received it in 1900 in a consignment of cherries from Japan. For the full story see his Ornamental Cherries, pp. 207-9.
‘Washi-no-o’ resembles ‘Tai Haku’ but has smaller flowers (about 15⁄8 in. wide), which occasionally have a few extra petals. It is a vigorous cherry, but judging from the example at Kew it is inferior to ‘Tai Haku’.
‘Takasago’ see P. × sieboldii
Young leaves deep bronze-coloured, unfolding at the same time as the flowers, which are shell-pink at first fading to very pale pink, semi-double (up to twenty petals). Calyx and pedicels purple-brown. It is of wide-spreading habit. A very beautiful cherry, flowering in the second half of April or early in May. Collingwood Ingram, who introduced it from the Hirano Shrine, Kyoto, at first thought little of it but now ranks it second only to ‘Tai Haku’ (A Garden of Memories (1970), p. 183).
P. serrulata f. grandiflora Wagner; P. s. f. luteovirens Miyoshi; P. lannesiana f. grandiflora (Wagner) Wils.; P. serrulata flore luteo pleno Hort.
‘Ukon’ is the best known of a sub-group of the Sato Zakura in which the petals are tinted with yellow or greenish yellow. It is a vigorous, sparsely branched tree with semi-double flowers, and their colour is best described as pale buff-yellow. They are borne in late April and harmonise with the bronzy young leaves. A.M. 1923.
Another member of this group is ‘Gyoiko’, with yellowish flowers streaked with green and tinged with pink (P. serrulata f. tricolor Miyoshi) A.M. 1930. In ‘Asagi’ the flowers are paler than in ‘Ukon’, single and borne earlier (P. serrulata f. luteoides Miyoshi).
P. serrulata f. purpurea Miyoshi
Leaves copper-coloured when young. Flowers purplish pink, semi-double (eight to ten petals), borne in the second half of April. A very free-flowering variety of moderate growth, suitable for small gardens. The Japanese name means ‘double purple’.
P. serrulata f. nobilis Miyoshi; P. lannesiana f. yedozakura Wils.
Leaves broadly oblong or obovate, short-acuminate, golden brown when unfolding. Buds deep carmine red, truncate at the apex, flowers rich shell-pink, 2 in. wide, with eight to twelve petals; calyx-lobes short. It usually flowers in the first half of April. Not a strong grower.
‘Beni-tora-no-o’ (P. serrulata formosissima Miyoshi) is very similar.
‘Yoshino’see P. × yedoensis
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
Strictly, the garden clone from China on which Lindley founded the name P. serrulata should be distinguished as P. serrulata cv. ‘Serrulata’. In gardens it has usually been called ‘Alba Plena’ or ‘Albo-plena’.
var. pubescens (Nakai) Wils. – Among the synonyms (page 399) was included P. verecunda (Koidz.) Koehne, but with a question mark. The reason for doubting whether they are precisely identical is that Wilson seems to have confused two entities – the one a form of P. serrulata var. spontanea in which the petioles and pedicels (or one or the other) are downy, and the other the much more distinct cherry for which Japanese botanists use the name P. verecunda. The former was originally described by Makino as P. pseudocerasus var. jamasakura subvar. pubescens Makino, which is the first of the synonyms cited by Wilson and should be taken as the nomenclatural type of his P. serrulata var. pubescens rather than Nakai’s P. jamasakura var. pubescens, which is P. verecunda. However, Wilson’s account of P. serrulata var. pubescens (Cherries of Japan, pp. 33-4) is clearly based in large part on specimens of P. verecunda, since he mentions most of the leading characters of this cherry, which certainly seems to merit specific rank and is more fully described here:
† P. verecunda (Koidz.) Koehne P. jamasakura Koidz.; P. jamasakura var. pubescens Nakai; P. serrulata var. pubescens (Makino) Wils., in part – Allied to P. serrulata var. spontanea (P. jamasakura), but differing in the following characters: leaves obovate to elliptic, edged with coarse, awn-tipped teeth (against oblong or oblong-elliptic and finely serrate in its ally), green and lustrous (not greyish or glaucous) and often with spreading hairs beneath; petioles downy, as usually are the pedicels. A native of Japan and Korea. Some trees grown as P. serrulata var. spontanea belong here; see further under var. pubescens on page 399. It is interesting that a very beautiful form of the true P. serrulata var. spontanea distributed commercially gives no autumn colour, though few trees are lovelier in flower; by contrast, P. verecunda from Korea gives splendid autumn colour but is inferior in blossom. Whether this difference holds good constantly it is impossible to say.
Japanese Garden Cherries Sato Zakura (page 399)
In the recent Manual of Japanese Flowering Cherries referred to in the introductory note, the Sato Zakura are treated under the name P. lannesiana (pp. 198-306) and there is a discussion of their parentage on pp. 35-40. The authors, while acknowledging the value of Miyoshi’s hitherto standard work, criticise him for making too much use in his descriptions of characters that vary according to environmental factors and the age of the tree, rather than paying attention to constant features such as the form of the bracts, calyx-tubes and sepals which, as well as the garden characters, are necessary for reliable identification of a cultivar.
The Manual does not pretend to be comprehensive – research is continuing – but all the cultivars mentioned in the main work on pages 400-407 and actually raised and named in Japan are treated, with the exception of ‘Horinji’, ‘Mikurama Gaeshi’, ‘Oshokun’ and ‘Yedo Zakura’, all of which feature in Miyoshi’s work. References to the Manual are given below, the bracketed number being that of the colour portrait.
The authors consider that P. lannesiana var. speciosa (P. speciosa) and the hill cherry, P. jamasakura (P. serrulata var. spontanea) are the main parents of the Sato Zakura and uphold Collingwood Ingram’s view that P. sargentii plays little or no part in their ancestry.
’Amanogawa’. – Manual, p. 220 (80).
’Ariake’. – Manual, p. 215 (95). ‘Botan’, mentioned under this, Manual, p. 264.
’Fudan Zakura’. – Manual, p. 225 (83).
’Fugenzo’. – Manual, p. 199 (63). According to this authority, the name literally means ‘Fugen elephant’, the tips of the petals being curved like those of an elephant’s trunk. Fugen bosatsu is a Japanese name for Buddha, who rode on an elephant in a famous legend.
’Hisakura’. – There seems to be little doubt that the cherry which Collingwood Ingram described under this name is indeed ‘Choshiu Hizakura’ (Manual, p. 217 (77), spelt ‘Choshu-hizakura’). For ‘Benden’ the Manual prefers the alternative rendering ‘Bendono’ (p. 275 (123)).
’Ichiyo’. – Manual, p. 233 (89). Wilson’s adoption of the name ‘Hi-zakura’ for this cherry is erroneous, as Collingwood Ingram pointed out (Ornamental Cherries, p. 219).
’Imose’. – Manual, p. 235 (91). This cherry often produces two fruits on a single pedicel – whence the name, which means ‘younger sister on the back’.
’Jo-nioi’. – Manual, p. 198 (62).
’Kanzan’. – Manual, p. 276 (124), where this name is preferred to the alternative ‘Sekiyama’. ‘Kirin’, mentioned here, also differs from ‘Kanzan’ in the following characters: leaves doubly serrated; flowers smaller, 15⁄8 in. against 21⁄4 in. wide, calyx and pedicels green, against reddish in ‘Kanzan’ (Manual, 238 (94) and tabulated characters on pp. 489, 517).
’Ojochin’. – Manual, p. 267 (117). Contrary to what has been suggested, there seems little doubt that the cherry described by Ingram under this name is the true ‘Ojochin’. It appears to be closely allied to ‘Senriko’, but in that cherry the young foliage is green, the flowers are always white, with notched petals, and strongly fragrant – whence the Japanese name, which means ‘one thousand miles scent’. Also the calyx-tube in ‘Senriko’ is campanulate, with oblong lobes, against funnel-shaped with triangular-ovate lobes in ‘Ojochin’ (Manual, p. 277 (125) and tabulated characters on pp. 511, 518).
[‘Shimidsu’]. – There can be little doubt that the correct name for this cherry is ‘Shogetsu’.
’Shirotae’. – This cherry was originally introduced from the Yokohama Nurseries as ‘Mount Fuji’ and it is preferable to use this name rather than ‘Shirotae’, since it is evidently not the true ‘Shirotae’ (Manual, p. 280 (128)).
’Shujaku’. – Manual, p. 284 (130).
’Tai Haku’. – Manual, p. 284 (136). ‘Washin-no-o’, mentioned under it, Manual, p. 297 (141), as ‘Washino-o’.
’Tao-yoma’. – Manual, p. 294 (138), under the alternative name ‘Taoyame’. The illustration brings out perfectly the colouring of this beautiful cherry.
’Ukon’. – Manual, p. 228 (86). ‘Gyoiko’, Manual, p. 226 (84).
’Yae-murasaki’. – Manual, p. 273 (121).