Monday, April 2, 2012

As Cherries Bloom: A Spotlight on the Different Kinds of Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blooms, View St. Victoria, BC

There are green grasses, daffodils, crocuses…and squirrels are on top of tree branches and the song of the birds with their new progenies is music to the ears. Best of all, cherry blossoms are flooding the streets of downtown and parks- Such a wondrous sight!

Cherry blossoms are introduced by the Japanese people in olden times as a generous present to Canada. From then on, many species were cultivated and grown all across Canada- especially British Columbia. With its burst of pinks and whites, cherry blossoms bring a kind of solitude at the same time excitement to everyone who sees and passes by droves of it.

In Victoria and most of all Vancouver, there are several species of cherry blossoms that can be observed. In fact, coming April 17 this year, Vancouver will celebrate its Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. It touches every spirit with the delicate beauty of the cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms continue to inspire and attract people every spring. Countless cultivars grow around British Columbia. Among the cultivars are listed below.


This is a type of a cherry tree that is short, umbrella-shaped and with branches which are fine and spread out, usually blooming sometime in February to March. The tiny, intense light pink-colored flower is the modern variation of Prunus sargentil or O-yama-zakura in its Japanese name. It is also a hybrid of the spring cherry (Prunus subhirtella) that is, sad to say, very delicate when it comes to diseases mostly aggravated when the tree is grown in a crowded place.

Afterglow cherry

This is the 1984 cultivar of the American cherry and is a random seedling of the species Prunus yedoensis “Akebono.” The species varies from the Somei-yoshino and the Akebono since its branches are set up more horizontally stretching branches, and the flower buds and the branches are thought to have been studied as resistant to frost damage.

Daybreak cherry

Daybreak cherry or ‘Akebono’ cherry tree is a middle-sized tree reaching up to eight meters and possesses a rigid, erect-extending top, eventually conforming to the shape of an umbrella. The tree blooms usually in the last weeks of March or the early weeks of April usually after the plum trees have started flowering. The flowers resemble pink and slowly fading to white flowers. Akebono is an offset of the Prunus yedoensis that was chosen from a nursery in California during 1925. The tree is otherwise regarded as the spring cherry since it is the first cherry tree to bloom in spring and is also revered for its rainproof blooms and hardiness from certain diseases. In the fall, the leaves turn to golden yellow or orange.

Birch Bark Cherry tree

Also known as Tibetan cherry, the plant is a local in the elevated mountains of western parts of China which includes Tibet. The plant’s scientific name is Prunus serrula. The small blooms are colored green with a tinge of white, but the sloughing, mahogany-colored bark is its most unique characteristic. The only issue with the tree is its susceptibility to bacterial canker infection and it damages the tree’s appearance once the bacterial disease strikes. Some arborists as well as horticulturists graft other species of cherries on the stems of the Tibetan cherry but it mostly yields undesired results.

Information in this article is extracted and in honor of the or Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

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