Prunus × yedoensis
Common name: 
Yoshino Cherry
Somei-yoshino Cherry
Tokyo Cherry
PROO-nus yed-o-EN-sis
Prunus yedoensis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 50 ft (15 m) high, broadly upright, young branchlets ascending.  Leaves alternate, simple, oval, 12 cm long, elliptic, tip gradually tapering to a sharp point (acuminate), margin doubly serrate, vivid green above, paler and pubescent below, petiole yellowish with red pubescence.  Flowers pink in bud and white when expanded, single, 3.5 cm wide, 5-6 per cluster (raceme); flowers appear before the leaves.  Fruit occastionaly form, small, red than black; with viable seeds.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5
  • The parentage of the Prunus × yedoensis hybrid is unclear (sometimes given as P. subhirtella × P. speciosa).  More recently the results of Nakamura, Ikuo; et al. (2015), using DNA sequences, suggest that Yoshino cherry probably originated by the hybridization of cultivars derived from Edo higan (Prunus pendula) and Oshima zakura (Prunus lannesiana, syn. Prunus serrulata).
  • Prunus × yedoensis is by far the dominant flowering cherry selection in Japan, it is known as the The Nation's Flower (Kuitert, 1999); also called the Tokyo Cherry.  Recent evidence indicates that the trees are a clone of a single tree, and commonly known as Somei-yoshino in Japan.  Its flowers appear before the leaves, are a light pink in the bud, but almost white when expanded.  In Japan the trees are often planted en masse, to the exclusion of other flowering cherries, which in spring produces a spectacular mass of identical white blooms, lasting about eight days.  This display is much admired by the Japanese, as well as tourists, during the hanami, the annual cherry viewing celebration (Abe, 2019).  This clone apparently constitutes the majority of the flowering cherry trees of the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., where 900 were planted in 1912.  They were a gift from the mayor of Tokyo.  

  • This popular cherry tree was traded as "Yoshino" in the 1800's but this name caused confusion since it suggested that it was from the Yoshino region of Japan, which it is not.  It apparently originated from a cherry nursery in the Japanese village of Somei near Tokyo.  To avoid confusion, in 1900 the plant was given the name of 'Somei-yoshino'.  However, the use of the "incorrect" common name, Yoshino Cherry, has persisted in commerce for over a century after the renaming (Kuitert,1999).
  • Other cultivars of Prunus × yedoensis include:
    • ‘Akebono’ (syn. ‘Daybreak’, ‘Amerika’)  -  pinks flowers that fade to white.
    • ‘Afterglow’  -  a seedling of and similar to ‘Akebono’ but its pink flowers do not fade to a clear white before petal fall.
    • ‘Shidare Yoshino’  -  weeping form
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