Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis'
Common Name: higan cherry
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 20.00 to 35.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds


Best grown in moist, fertile, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Best flowering occurs in full sun. Higan cherry has better tolerance for summer heat and winter cold than most flowering cherries.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus subhirtella, commonly known as Higan cherry, is a medium-sized deciduous tree that grows to 20-40' (50') tall. It is a considered by many to be a naturally occurring hybrid (hybrid believers often designate it as Prunus x subhirtella) from Japan whose parents may be P. pendula and P. incisa. Higan cherry features non-fragrant, pale pink to white flowers in spring, pea-sized blackish fruits in late summer and ovate to lanceolate green leaves (to 3” long). This species/hybrid is rarely sold in commerce. On the other hand, ‘Autumnalis' (sometimes designated as var. autumnalis) is a popular cultivar that is commonly sold in commerce. It typically grows to 20-35' tall with a rounded, symmetrical crown. It is noted for producing a heavy bloom of semi-double pink flowers in spring with an additional but sparse bloom occurring in fall (hence the cultivar name). Leaves turn yellow in fall. Fruits are attractive to birds, but are not ornamentally significant.


Higan cherry is generally considered to have good disease resistance. Like all cherries, it is susceptible to a large number of insect and disease problems. Potential diseases include leaf spot, die back, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot and fireblight. Potential insects include aphids, scale, borers, leafhoppers, caterpillars, tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles. Spider mites may also be troublesome.

Garden Uses

Flowering cherry tree. Specimen or group. Along paths. Near decks.