Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Prunus x Yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Prunus x yedoensis 'Isu Yoshino' (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’ (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 12m

Eventual Spread: 12m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b


Prunus x yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’ is a deciduous tree with a spreading habit. Its dark green leaves are elliptic with serrate margins, up to 15cm long and 7cm broad. Its leaves turn yellow/ orange before they fall in autumn. Its white/ pale pink fragrant flowers are up to 35mm across and appear just before the leaves in clusters of up to 6. Its red/ black fruit, the cherry, is a small globose drupe which is up to 1cm across.

Prunus x yedoensis 'Isu Yoshino' Flower (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’ Flower (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus x yedoensis, commonly known as Yoshino Cherry, is a hybrid Cherry, likely to be a cross between Prunus speciosa and Prunus pendule f. ascendens. This tree occurs as a natural hybrid in Japan.

The etymological root of the binomial name Prunus is from the classical name of the Plum tree. Yedoensis is derived from the old name for Tokyo, Yedo.

The landscape architect may find Prunus x yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’ useful as a very attractive spring flowering small tree.

Ecologically, Prunus x yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’ flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. Its fruit are attractive to birds and mammals.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the variety Prunus x yedoensis ‘Somei-Yoshino’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Prunus x yedoensis 'Isu Yoshino' Bark (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’ Bark (21/04/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’ prefers moist, fertile, deep, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. This tree dislikes dry soils.

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Isu Yoshino’ requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out after flowering, from April to July to minimise the risk of Silver leaf infection.

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