Higan cherry is a small- to medium-sized tree known for its early pink to white flowers in spring. The weeping form is most popular in the nursery trade.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All common names:
- Residential and parks
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- medium tree (25-40 feet),
- Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Alkaline soil,
- Road salt
- Moderately Tolerant
- Excessive sucker growth,
- May be difficult to find in nurseries
- Spring blossoms,
- Showy flowers
Season of Interest:
- Early spring
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Insect pollinators
Tree & Plant Care
Needs full sun for best flowering. Prefers a well-drained soil, pH adaptable.
Easily transplanted. Prune after flowering in spring.
Disease, pests, and problems
Short-lived, susceptible to many insest and diseases when stressed.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Japan.
Bark color and texture
Shiny, reddish brown bark with long horizontal lenticels.
Bark often peeling and curled.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate leaf arrangement with simple, deciduous leaves.
Linear to ovate leaf shape about 1 to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide.
Dark green leaf color changing to orange red fall color.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Single, pink flowers bloom before the leaves emerge. The 1/2 inch diameter flowers are borne in umbels with 2 to 5 flowers each.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Red fruits are oval maturing to black.
Cultivars and their differences
Double Weeping Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula Plena Rosea'): 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 before the leaves emerge.