Tai-Haku Flowering Cherry
Great White Flowering Cherry
Prunus serrulata ‘Tai-Haku’
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf deciduous tree, wide spreading, to 25-35 ft [about 8-10 m] tall and 35 ft [10 m] wide. Leaves simple, alternate, brown to bronze-green when young, when mature up to 24 cm long and 10 cm wide, margin serrate and the long bristles (teeth) without glands, green; fall foliage yellow. Flowers have a slight pink tinge in the bud, becoming pure white when completely open, large, about 6 cm across, opening in a flat-plane, 5 petals (single), one pistal (may be absent) which is longer than the longest stamens; 3-4 flowers per cluster.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 5
- Tai-Haku: tai, big; haku, white
- The story of ‘Tai-Haku’ is provided by Kuitert (1999, p. 330). Briefly, the plant was sent to England from Japan to a Mrs. Freeman in about 1900. However, the tree in her garden was near death in 1923 when Collingwood Ingram, an authority on Japanese flowering cherries, noticed the large size and beauty of its few flowers. He collected a few twigs of bud wood from which thousands of trees have since been propagated and distributed world-wide. Apparently this selection had been lost in Japan, and Ingram reintroduced it into that country in 1932 and it was named ‘Tai-haku’ by Prince Taka Tsukasa.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: northeast corner of McAlexander Field House.