By Sarah Schmidt | April 13, 2012
As the Kanzan cherry trees (Prunus ‘Kanzan’) in the Cherry Esplanade head toward peak bloom this weekend, the excitement at the Garden is palpable—for good reason. Their deep pink, double blossoms, plus the central location of the esplanade have made the ‘Kanzan’ the favorite cherry cultivar of many BBG visitors. Be sure to notice the variety of different cherry trees around the Garden, too. The Prunus serrulata cultivars, for instance, are also heading toward peak bloom, including the fragrant ‘Taki-Nioi’ and as well as the ‘Ukon’, which features delicate flowers that change colors several times while in bloom. “They’re greenish when they open, then yellowish green, hence the name ukon which means turmeric in Japanese. After that they turn white and finally pink,” says Brian Funk, curator the Japanese Hill-and-Pond-Garden. Specimens of each are in located there, a ‘Taki-nioi’ near the front gate, and two ‘Ukon’ near the upper waterfall. Check CherryWatch for detailed descriptions and locations of more cultivars.
Sarah Schmidt edits BBG's Garden News Blog and the Guides for a Greener Planet handbook series.