Prunus serrulata
Common name: 
Japanese Flowering Cherry
Oriental Cherry
PROO-nus ser-u-LA-ta
Cerasus serrulata
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 20-35 ft (6-11 cm), many clones, variable habits.  Note horizontal lenticels on bark.  Leaves alternate, simple, 5-13 cm long, have a long point, serrate with bristle-like teeth, 2-4 glands on petiole.  Flowers 3.5 cm diameter, white, double, 3-5 per cluster, pedicels to 4 cm long.  Fruit a small black cherry.
  • Sun or part shade.  Grown for the relatively large flowers that cover the trees in spring.  Susceptible to several diseases.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      Species native to China, Japan, Korea.  
  • Many cultivars have been developed, they apparently originated from hybridization between two or more wild species.  Some of the more common cultivars include:
    • 'Kanzan'  -  new leaves bronzy; flowers deep pink, double, 5 per pendulous clusters
    • 'Mt. Fugi'  -  horizontal branch pattern; flowers white, semi-double, often turn pinkish before petal fall.
    • 'Royal Burgundy'  -  leaves are purplish; flowers similar to 'Kanzan', but slightly darker pink
    • 'Shiro-fugen'  -  leaves crimson flushed bronze when young, flowers small, double, pink in bud and white when open
    • 'Shogetsu'  - large, pure white flowers that are pink in the bud stage
    • 'Ukon'  -  young leaves pale bronze, flowers semi-double, large, yellowish white or light green with pink center
  • Cultivars are often grafted on to a rootstick of Prunus avium (wild or sweet cherry), but more recently on to Prunus serrula (Birchbark Cherry), at a height of about 5 ft to produce a tree with showy flowers and showy bark.
  • serrulata:  with small, saw-like teeth, a reference to the leaf margin
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: south (west) side of the Memorial Union ('Mt. Fugi'); front of Bexell ('Kanzan').
Click image to enlarge
  • leaves


  • shoot and leaves

    shoot and leaves

  • leaf and stem

    leaf and stem

  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • twigs and buds, comparison

    twigs and buds, comparison

  • winter twig, buds

    winter twig, buds