Wednesday, May 11, 2016

late cherry blossom

Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) at Moredon Park, Swindon 7th May 2016




2016 has been a great season for Prunus fans and an unusually elongated one. The mild December of 2015 meant that early types like Cherry-plum and Blackthorn began to blossom a month early. But then March and April stayed generally chilly, so the middle varieties lingered.  And these late varieties are actually a week or so later than normal. 



Prunus 'Kanzan' and Prunus avium growing from the same rootstock



A common but arresting sight: Prunus 'Kanzan' like most ornamental cherries is normally grafted onto the more powerful rootstock of our native wild cherry Prunus avium . If the tree is neglected the graft usually manages to put up a flowering shoot of its own, and then for a few seasons you may see this pretty equilibrium between pink and white blossom.



Prunus 'Kanzan' and Prunus avium growing from the same rootstock


The brotherliness is illusory. Without human interference 'Kanzan', though a vigorous variety compared to most other ornamental cherries, is soon out-competed by the shoots of native cherry and reduced to a sad little branch or two.



Prunus 'Kanzan' and Prunus avium growing from the same rootstock


Prunus 'Pink Perfection'

A couple of overheads of 'Pink Perfection', taken in Bath on 8th May. Is this the most luscious blossom of them all? Its two parents are supposed to be 'Kanzan', which you've just seen, and 'Shôgetsu', which you're about to see...

In addition to its numerous other virtues, 'Pink Perfection' strikes me as holding on to its blossom unusually long. Later in May I've noticed it still close to immaculate when 'Shirofugen', and even 'Shôgetsu', have deposited most of their petals on the ground.

Prunus 'Pink Perfection'


Prunus  'Shôgetsu'

Prunus 'Shôgetsu' (or 'Shimidsu' as my generation called it) is the last of the main ornamental cherries and this tree was only just coming into bloom, at sunset on that glorious 8th May (Swindon). Later the blossom will be almost pure white but at this stage you can see how the tree earns its nickname of "Blushing Bride".


Prunus  'Shôgetsu'


Prunus  'Shôgetsu'


Prunus  'Shôgetsu'


Prunus  'Shôgetsu'

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