Prunus serrulata (Japanese flowering cherry)

Prunus serrulata the Japanese flowering cherry tree is an ornamental tree producing masses of blossom and an icon of spring in the UK.

Wild Prunus serrulata originated in asia and is found in northern and central China, through Manchuria to Korea and Japan. Prunus serrulata can be traced back to as early as the fifteenth century.

Prunus serrulata

Prunus serrulata ©  Tawashi 2006

Prunus serrulata is a variable species that also forms natural hybrids with close relatives such as 

  • Prunus sargentii - Sargent’s cherry
  • Prunus speciosa - Oshima cherry

The species beauty and variety of natural hybrids led to widespread cultivation of Prunus serrulata over hundreds of years. 

Cultivation leading to a vast assemblage of complex hybrids and cultivars of Prunus serrulata which are widely planted throughout Europe and North America.


Species detail

  • Flowers may be white or pink

    Find out about the genus Prunus and get a description of the form and structure of Prunus serrulata. Learn about the different varieties of this species and find out how it can be distinguished from other cherry species.

  • Wild trees, Japan
    Distribution and habitat

    Discover where in the world Prunus serrulata is found and more about its natural habitat.

  • Wild cherry trees blossoming,  Yoshinoyama, Japan.

    Learn about the size and reproductive patterns of the Japanese flowering cherry.

  • Double forms of cherry blossoms

    Prunus serrulata can be traced back to as early as the fifteenth century. Find out more about the history of this tree.

  • prunus-serrulata-var-spontanea

    There are three other recognised varieties of Prunus serrulata as well as the typical form Prunus serrulata var.serrulata. Find out more  about these other varieties.

  • Cherry blossoms at Yoshinoyama, Japan.

    Get reference material for Prunus serrulata.


Prunus serrulata

Wild Prunus serrulata cherry trees in Yoshinoyama, Japan.

Prunus serrulata

Prunus serrulata cherry trees blossoming at Yoshinoyama, Japan.

Prunus serrulata

Prunus serrulata has profuse blossom in spring.

Prunus serrulata

Prunus serrulata clusters of flowers open just before the leaves appear.

Prunus serrulata

Prunus serrulata flowers may be white or pink.

Prunus serrulata

Double flower forms are common in Prunus serrulata both in the wild and in cultivation.

Prunus serrulata

Prunus serrulata cherry trees in Yokahama, Japan.

Prunus serrulata

Prunus serrulata is often used as a street tree, lining a road in Osaka


Bob Press 
Former Associate Keeper of Botany
Department of Botany

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