Prunus x subhirtella (Higan Cherry)

Higan Cherry, Winter-Flowering Cherry, Spring Cherry, Rosebud Cherry (Prunus x subhirtella)

  • Prunus x subhirtella, Higan Cherry, Winter-Flowering Cherry, Spring Cherry, Rosebud Cherry, Spring flowers, White flowers, Pink flowers, fragrant flowers
  • Prunus x subhirtella, Higan Cherry, Winter-Flowering Cherry, Spring Cherry, Rosebud Cherry, Spring flowers, White flowers, Pink flowers, fragrant flowers

A remarkable flowering cherry tree, Higan cherry, Prunus x subhirtella, is a landscape tree with multi-season interest. Prized for its profuse blooms in early or mid spring, it is also noted for its sporadic blossoms in fall during warm days - a rare  treat! The pretty semi-double flowers, sport 10 petals which change color from bud to full bloom. Deep pink in bud, the blossoms turn pale pink when opening before fading to almost white as they mature. They are followed by pea-sized blackish fruits in late summer. This spectacular cherry tree also boasts attractive fall colors and a great-looking bark. More cold-hardy and heat tolerant than most ornamental cherry trees, it is a versatile addition to the landscape.

  • Higan cherry is a medium-sized deciduous tree that can reach 20-30 ft. in height (6-9 m) and 15-30 ft. in spread (4-9 m) at maturity. Fast-growing, this flowering cherry is longer-lived than other ornamental cherry trees.
  • Depending on cultivars, it may enjoy a graceful upright branching that is broad and spreading, a rounded or a weeping habit.
  • The foliage of ovate, serrated, dark green leaves in summer creates a fresh summer canopy. It warms up to attractive shades of bronze, red and golden-yellow in fall before shedding to the ground.
  • The trunk is covered with shiny, reddish-brown bark and prominent lenticels. Some trunks may display curly peeling bark.
  • Higan cherry is an excellent tree for lawn specimens, street trees and in groupings.
  • Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree (minimum of four hours of direct sunlight each day).
  • Higan cherry is not as seriously affected by diseases and insects as some other Asian flowering cherries.
  • This hybrid flowering cherry is rarely sold in commerce, however, its many beautiful cultivars are extremely popular with gardeners, in particular ‘Autumnalis Rosea', which produces double pink flowers.

Phaif / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 6 – 8  
Heat Zones 6 – 8
Climate Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B
Plant TypeTrees
Plant FamilyPrunus - Flowering Trees
ExposureFull Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid)
Fall
Water NeedsAverage
MaintenanceLow
Soil TypeChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil DrainageMoist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
CharacteristicsFragrant, Showy
AttractsBirds, Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden

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