Content Detail

Higan cherry is a small to medium sized tree known for its pink to white flowers which emerge in early spring. The weeping form is most popular in the nursery trade.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Planting site Residential and parks
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small tree (15-25 feet), Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Mature height 20-40 feet
  • Mature width 15-30 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest early spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, White
  • Shape or form Round, Weeping
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations Excessive sucker growth, May be difficult to find in nurseries
  • Wildlife Birds, Insect pollinators
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

Higan cherry is native to Japan.

Bark color and texture:  

The bark is shiny, reddish-brown with long horizontal lenticels. The bark is often peeling and curled.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

The deciduous leaves are simple and  alternate. They have a  linear to ovate leaf shape and are about 1 to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. The dark green leaves change to an orange-red color in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

The single, pink flowers bloom before the leaves emerge in spring. The 1/2 inch diameter flowers are borne in umbels with 2 to 5 flowers each.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

It has oval red fruits which mature to black.

Plant care: 

Higan cherry needs full sun for the best flowering. It prefers a well-drained soil, is pH adaptable and cold tolerant. It is easily transplanted. Prune it after it flowers in spring. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

This is a short-lived tree which is susceptible to many insects and diseases when stressed.

Double Weeping Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Plena Rosea’): 

This is a weeping cultivar with pink, double flowers.

Pink Snow Showers™ (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pisnshzam’): 

A weeping cultivar with pink, single flowers.

Weeping Higan Cherry  (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’): 

This cultivar is grafted onto a  straight understock reaching 25 to 30 feet high and 35 feet wide. The pendulous oval growth becomes more mounded with age. Clear pink flowers open before the leaves emerge.


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