Prunus serrula
Common name: 
Birchbark Cherry
Paperbark Cherry
Tibetan Cherry
Pronunciation: 
PRO-nus SER-u-la
Family: 
Rosaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Deciduous tree, 20-30 ft (6-9 m), rounded.  Bark can be a glossy red-brown, mahogany-like, which ultimately peels; handsome in winter when well exposed.  Leaves simple, lanceolate, 5-10 cm long, regularly serrate (serrula: with small serrations).  Flowers white, 1.5-2 cm wide, grouped in 1-3, nodding, stalks 1.2 cm long, produced in mid-spring with, and hidden, by foliage.  Fruit oval, bright red, about 0.6 cm long.
  • Sun.  Susceptible to cankers, borers, etc.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      Native to central China.
  • Also being used as an interstem (interstock) for some Japanese flowering cherries, especially some Prunus serrulata cultivars such as ‘Kanzan’ and ‘Mt. Fuji’, to provide winter interest with its mahogany-like bark.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: two trees south of the Elm Walk near 15th St.
Click image to enlarge
  • flowers, spring

    flowers, spring

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • bark, large branch and trunks

    bark, large branch and trunks

  • plant habit, winter

    plant habit, winter

  • winter twigs, buds

    winter twigs, buds