First Blooms in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden
Of the 26 flowering cherry trees on display in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, 15 began to bloom this week and are holding their blossoms despite the rain. The majority of these trees are Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula', often called weeping cherries. In BBG's collection there are both white and pink varieties. Weeping cherries have been cultivated in Japan for centuries and are often referred to as ito-zakura ("thread cherry") in poems and literature. The thin branches weep because of their fast growing habit and do indeed look like threads blowing in the breeze before the blossoms emerge. The species was first introduced into Europe in 1862 by German physician and botanical collector Philipp Franz von Siebold. In addition to P. subhirtella 'Pendula' visitors to the Garden can also see Prunus sargentii 'Fudan-zakura' in peak bloom.