Prunus subhirtella
Common name: 
Higan Cherry
PROO-nus sub-hir-TEL-la
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous tree, can be 50-60 ft (15-18 m) high in its native habitat, shoots slender whip-like, pubescent.  Trunk thick, bark eventually gray brown.  Leaves alternate, simple, ovate, 3-8 cm long, about 2.5 cm wide, tip acuminate, margin sharply and often doubly serrate, about 10 vein pairs, lustrous dark green above, sparsely pubescent on veins below.  Flowers in small clusters of 2-5, appear before the leaves, calyx tube pubescent, purple-red, bulging at the base, each flowers about 2.5 cm wide, petals pale pink to white, more or less distinctly incised, style longer than stamens.  Fruit oval-rounded, 9 mm long, purple-black when ripe.
  • Sun.  Not usually cultivated, selections and cultivars more often planted.  Here are four that are available in the far West:
    • var. autumnalis  -  flowers semi-double, light pink-almost white, blooms some in the fall and then fully in spring
    • 'Pendula'  -  weeping, usually grafted about 5-6 ft to an understock; flowers are single, pale pink
    • 'Whitcomb'  -  wide spreading, horizontally branched; flowers single, petals notched, pink, but fade to white
    • 'Yae-shidare-higan'  -  weeping, whip-like branches, usually grafted about 5-6 ft to an understock; flowers double pink.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4     Native to Japan.
  • subhirtella: somewhat hairy
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