Prunus serrulata

Common Name: Japanese flowering cherry 
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Japan, China, Korea
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White to pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy


Best grown in moist, fertile, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Best flowering in full sun. Some cultivars are marginally winter hardy to the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus serrulata, commonly called Japanese flowering cherry or oriental cherry, is a medium sized tree growing to 50-75’ tall in its native habitat. It features non-fragrant white flowers in spring, pea-sized blackish fruits in late summer and ovate to lanceolate green leaves (to 5” long). This species is rarely sold in commerce, however. What is commonly sold in commerce under the name of Japanese flowering cherry are a very large number of non-fruiting, often grafted cultivars (‘Kwanzan’ or ‘Kanzan’ being perhaps the most popular), that generally grow in the 15-25’ range with vase-shaped to rounded crowns. These cultivars are primarily grown for their profuse and showy spring bloom. Cultivar flowers primarily come in various shades of white and pink and bloom with or just before the foliage in spring. Flowers come in single, semi-double or double form and may be fragrant or non-fragrant. New leaves may be tinged with bronze. Fall color varies from interesting shades of bronze and red to undistinguished drab yellows. Japanese flowering cherry cultivars were at one point all lumped under P. Sato-zakura Group.

Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree.

Specific epithet means with saw-like teeth.


Susceptible to a large number of insect and disease pests. 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.


Cultivars are generally small flowering trees. Specimen or group.