Okinawan Cherry Blossom Tree
Rosaceae Prunus Campanulata
By Master Gardener Don Fry
Winter is officially here! In addition to your pansies, try planting a cherry blossom tree for early color. The Rosaceae prunus campanulata flowering cherry comes from the very southern area of Japan known as Okinawa. This earliest variety of cherry blooms here in late January and early February and may be known locally as “Taiwan Cherry.” Flowers are produced in the early spring before the leaves. Occurring in groups of 2-6, each flower has five bright reddish-pink petals.
It is the most heat tolerant of the flowering cherries and can be relied upon to do well in the southern portions of Alabama. Choose a bright sunny location for your tree and it can begin to flower in one to two years.