The Yoshino cherry tree (Prunus yodiensis) is the most widely planted flowering tree in Japan. Being a hybrid with its species unknown, many questions about the trees origin remain unsolved. We know that the tree was cultivated in the middle of the 19th century and thereafter found its way to Europe and the United States. The city of Tokyo donated many Yoshino cherry trees to Washington DC where they were planted along the Potomac river. The tree is fast growing reaching a height of about 40-45 feet. It has pale pink to white blossoms growing in clusters along its branches. They have a round fruit that quickly turns from green to red, and finally to black. The broad elliptic leaves are serrated and grow alternate on the twigs. The dark reddish bark of the tree is marked with prominent horizontal linear pores called lenticels which are lighter brown than the bark .
Common name: Yoshino Cherry
Scientific Name (order and family): Prunus x yedoensis (Rosales, Rosaceae)
Origin: Japan. Hybrid between Prunus speciosa and Prunus subhirtella ‘Rosa’
Habit: Broad spreading tree, 40 feet tall.
Trunk/Stem: Bark purple gray with corky horizontal lenticels.
Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, simple; elliptical, tapered tip, margins serrated; downy under surface and shiny glabrous top surface.
Flowers: Perfect. Single pale-pink flower bloom in early spring with a purplish center as the stamens mature giving a unique bicolor to the blossom.
Fruits and Seeds: Round drupe, red ripening to black.