Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Cerasus subhirtella var. pendula

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah - September

Common name spring cherry, higan cherry, rosebud cherry
Scientific name Cerasus subhirtella var. pendula (Y. Tanaka) T.T. Yu & C.L. Li.
Family  Rosaceae

Genus: Cerasus: from the Greek - for cherry tree and in relation to the name of a town in Turkey, Kerasous, from where the trees were first exported to Europe in Roman times.

Species: subhirtella: from the Latin - somewhat hairy, in reference to the underside of the leaf.

Variety: pendula - hanging down, weeping.

Distribution This cultivar originated in Japan but is unknown in the wild. It is possibly a hybrid between Prunus incisa and P. spachiana forms.
Native habitat n/a
Description Our three specimens are all grafted as ‘standard’ form trees.
Flowering/fruiting The brief but spectacular flowering of our earliest flowering cherry covers one to three weeks in late August or through September. No fruit have been observed.


The oldest specimen is above the wall of the entrance drive and two other plants grace the Residence Garden.


In Japan during the Heian period 794-1185, the appreciation of cherry blossoms came into ascendancy. It is said ‘news that the cherry was in blossom quickened people’s hearts; they became drunk with the brilliance and magnificence of a tree in the crowning glory of full blossom, or of a group of trees blossoming together’.

It is with this knowledge that we should enjoy the early pink spring blossom of Cerasus subhirtella var. pendula (formerly known as Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’). This early pink blossom is then followed by a marvellous procession of other blossoms of the flowering cherry collection here at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah. The white flowering cherries follow with Prunus serrulata cultivars ‘Shirotae’ and ‘Tai Haku’.

This group also encompasses many of the fruit and nut trees that we are all familiar with such as plums peaches apricots and almonds. If you have a small garden and would like to have some spring blossom, then perhaps the dwarf flowering almond Prunus glandulosus ‘Sinensis’ would be the right size. All of these flowering cherries and the dwarf flowering almond can be seen along the Plant Explorers Walk, in the Residence Garden and beside the path below the Residence Garden.

A Japanese poem by Yosen Hoshi states ‘Let us leave our parting to these mountain cherry blossoms: whether you stay a while, or take your leave, let the flowers decide’. This poem perhaps suggests that you should have a tranquil moment with the cherry blossoms, enjoy their beauty and take the memory away with you.