Content Detail

The Nanking cherry is a lovely ornamental shrub with fragrant white flowers appearing before the leaves. Shiny reddish-brown exfoliating bark and attractive scarlet red fruits adds seasonal interest. Use it as a hedge or spring specimen in the shrub border.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites
  • Season of interest mid fall, mid spring, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, White
  • Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate

Size and form:

Nanking cherry is a broad spreading, densely twiggy shrub, becoming more open and picturesque with age that reaches six to eight feet high and wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to Japan, China and Korea.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

The fruit in mid-summer attracts birds.

Bark color and texture:

Nanking cherry has shiny, reddish-brown, exfoliating bark. 

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

This shrub has alternate, two to three inches long serrated leaves that are roughly-veined.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

It produces early pink buds that change to fragrant white flowers.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Attractive, edible, scarlet-red fruits appear in mid-summer.

Plant care:

This shrub prefers full sun and loose loamy well-drained soil. It is wind and drought tolerant once established.

List of pests and diseases:

It is often short lived and prone to insect and disease problems, including black knot, verticillium wilt and borer.

Donate

Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift