Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’)


Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Of all the flowering trees, none is as romantic as the ornamental cherry “Kwanzan,” (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’). Like many cherries, it has a lovely, graceful vase-shape form, attractive bark and good fall color, but is best known for its stunning display of showy, double pink flowers that envelop the tree in late Spring, covering the tree in what look like tiny floral dresses. After flowering is another spectacular show as millions of petals shower down from the trees in a pink, whisper-soft snowfall.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this breathtaking tree in flower. I had rented my first ever house and knew nothing about the two trees out front except that they were enormous, nearly fifty feet tall. A friend identified them as flowering cherries, so as the rest of the neighborhood trees bloomed, I waited and waited. By the end of April, when other trees were finished and leaves began to appear, I gave up on having flowering trees.

A few warm days later, as I drove up the road to the house, I nearly wrecked my car. The two trees, which I now know were two of the largest “Kwanzan” I had ever seen, had bloomed in entirety, creating a canopy of pink frills. Later, when the bloom was finished and the snowfall of petals covered the yard in pink, I spent the entire weekend watching this unbelievable, straight-from-a-fairytale show, waiting for the elvish lady or medieval princess that was sure to appear at any moment. Those trees won my heart that year and I have loved them ever since.

I don’t currently have a Kwanzan cherry in my garden, but I hope to someday. Meanwhile, I am fortunate enough to have this beautiful specimen next door to appreciate each Spring.

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via


  • Latin Name: Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’

  • Common Name: Kwanzan flowering cherry

  • USDA Zone: 5-9

  • Mature Height: 30′-40′

  • Mature Spread: 30′-40′

  • Bloom Time: late Spring

  • Fruit: None

  • Habit: Vase-shaped with spreading, rounded crown.

  • Growth rate: Medium

  • Exposure: Full sun

  • Soil: Tolerant of many soils, but prefers moist, well-drained soil

  • Water: Somewhat drought tolerant; should not need supplemental water once established

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata) via

Though the “Kwanzan” has a reputation for being easily stressed, relatively short lived and susceptible to disease, its spectacular show makes it worth these possible limitations. Crowns of this tree are very similar, making it an excellent candidate for lining walks or drives. It is also an excellent specimen tree and can be planted in containers or used for Bonsai. “Kwanzan” flowering cherry blooms in late Spring, up to two weeks later than other cherries. New leaves are bronze colored, then turn to dark green for the summer and yellow to copper in fall.

Here’s a bunch of pictures of my neighbor’s Kwanzan Cherry:

Do you have Kwanzan cherry growing in your garden?

~Angela :-)

~Angela ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. Originally posted on April 29, 2008, this post was updated with new pictures and information on April 23, 2013!


16 responses to “Kwanzan Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’)”

  1. Lynne Laura Avatar
    Lynne Laura

    Hi Angela,Thank you for sharing the stunning cherry tree! I just love it, what a site to see, and you discribed it beautifully. I would love to be under it’s canopy breathing in the perfumed air and petals falling on my head and shoulders…I am still planning on doing the yellow challenge, haven’t had time to post it yet but you will see me there!Kindredly, Lynne Laura

  2. Gorgeous! I planted one last year and of course it is no where near that pretty yet, but I am still enjoying it.

  3. Beautiful! I’ve seen a few of these around town and never knew what they were. Thanks for the info!I’m going to try to get my yellow pictures taken today! Oh, and I was so sad to see Brooke go home last night. Poor thing.

  4. Wow, not only is the tree beautiful but your photographs of it are breathtaking! I really love that first photo!

  5. RoseMarie Avatar

    I need one of those trees, they are stunning. As always I love visiting your blog. Hummm the yellow challenge, I think I can do that. Does it have to be just yellow or can other colors in the same room be in the picture?

  6. Absolutely stunning! And what beautiful photography.

  7. I love your cherry tree. My life giving one is Mt Fuji which is white and has just struggled through our drought here in Victoria in the land of Oz.We had the lowest rainfall in 11 years in April and this is the second/third drought year. I think I have lost a variegated tulip tree which takes years to flower, so am watching the Mt Fuji closely. I just adore the hanging clusters of white flowers.But May has started with rain. Quite a lot of it for us. So I am feeling almost hopeful about Spring at least. Here at the end of Autumn.

  8. GORGEOUS! Thank you for sharing these beautiful trees AND photos!xo,Kim

  9. Your beautiful trees… and your sweet description won my heart. I so enjoy your blog. I hope to participate in the yellow challenge.. what a pleasure to see the pretty green insulator, my sweet daddy’s favorite collectible….

  10. What a gorgeous tree! Those double pink blooms are amazing.”…like tiny floral dresses.” Love that description.Kimberly ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wow that tree is simply stunning, no wonder you fell in love with them.Cheers Linda

  12. oh your pics and your post brings back such delightful memories. growing up we had a minature right out our dining room window. it was about 4-5 feet high and every may it bloomed. my mom and dad just called it a japanese cherry tree. i loved those blossoms and tho i don’t remember any smell i’m sure it was lovely. i had forgotton about the tree til i saw the pics you posted. what a flood of precious memories you brought back for me. thank you!

  13. Just found your blog and I love it.Especially this post on Kwanzaan’s. I adore these trees. I have three of them in my front yard. They didn’t bloom last year because we got a hard freeze just as the buds were bursting open. I was so disappointed I nearly cried.This year they bloomed beautifully and it was an amazing sight.I’ll be back!Kim

  14. What a beautiful tree, I was so excited to find that this tree will work in our zone, now, I am going to try to find a perfect spot for one in our yard, its sooo pretty!! thanks for sharing! do you know where this can be purchased? thanks again!

  15. Yes, these trees were in bloom when I decided to purchase the house that I am in. We have a circular drive and one tree on both side of house along the drive. Ah, but for only two weeks. But the pink blanket thereafter that it leaves is also enjoyable! Glad to have run into your site. Stop by and see me some time! Rita

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