Garden News Blog

Autumn Blooming Cherries

Cherry blossoms in December? It may be hard to believe, but there are indeed cherry trees in bloom at BBG this week!

While out on the grounds today I came across three cherry trees in bloom. After spending some time marveling and photographing the blossoms, I asked BBG's Japanese Hill-and-Pond curator Brian Funk if what I was seeing was normal for this time of year.

He informed me that while it's common for the everblooming cherry (Prunus 'Fudan-zakura') and the autumn-flowering cherry (Prunus x subhirtella 'Jugatsu-zakura') to be blooming in December, it is a bit irregular for Prunus 'Hally Jolivette' to have so many blossoms. Brian told me that usually for the cherries to bloom in December there needs to be a cold snap followed by warm weather. Earlier this week Brooklyn had temperatures reaching towards 60 so that might have helped encourage these beauties to bloom. Provided it doesn't dip below freezing, the blossoming should continue throughout the weekend and into next week.

Rebecca Bullene is a former editor at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She is the proprietor of Greenery NYC, a creative floral and garden design company that specializes in botanical works of art including terrariums, urban oasis gardens, and whimsical floral arrangements.


  • Clifton Monteith December 22, 2011

    Just returned from Kyoto, Japan, and saw what I think was Jugatsu-sakura blooming in the garden of a coffee shop on Okie street. It was a thrill to see something so beautiful that it made the Christmas light looks shabby! Even though late in the day, was able to get a good photo on my i-phone, one of the best memories of the day!

  • Marie-anne Westigard December 4, 2010

    Is this also the explanation for the azaleas and Rhododendrons blooming in the North Carolina hills?

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Image, top of page:
December blossoms on Prunus 'hally jolivette' near Cherry Walk. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
Prunus sargentii 'Fudansakura'. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.