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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles
'Prunus speciosa' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
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A small deciduous tree with stout branches and a pale, smooth bark; young shoots glabrous, becoming pale shining grey by the autumn. Leaves usually tinged with brown as they unfold, glabrous, ovate or obovate, 3 to 5 in. long, slenderly acuminate at the apex, the margins set with single or double bristle-tipped teeth. Flowers single, fragrant, white, 1 to 11⁄2 in. wide, produced during May in corymbose racemes whose main stalk is 1 to 3 in. long. The individual flowers are on stalks about 1 in. long, springing from the axils of conspicuous, obovate, fringed bracts about 1⁄2 in. long. Fruits egg-shaped, black, shining, about the size of a pea.
A native of Japan, where it is commonly planted, and occurs wild on Oshima (de Vries Island) and other islands of the Izu Archipelago, and on the adjacent mainland. It is little known in this country in its normal wild form, but many of the Japanese ornamental cherries (Sato Zakura) derive from it.
A double form of P. speciosa is known as ‘Yae-oshima’ (P. lannesiana f. donarium (Koidz.) Wils.)
An interesting analysis of the contribution made by this species to the development of the Sato Zakura will be found in the Manual of Japanese Flowering Cherries, pp. 37-40. Trees growing wild on the islands south of the Izu peninsula are very variable and show many of the characters of the Sato Zakura, including some, such as red or bronze young foliage, usually attributed to the influence of P. serrulata var. spontanea, the hill cherry.
Cerasus lannesiana Carr