639 Prunus campanulataCommon Names: Taiwan flowering cherry, Formosan cherry, bell-flowered cherry Family: Rosaceae (rose Family)
One of the so-called "flowering cherries", Taiwan cherry is a small, deciduous tree with dense branching, a graceful, spreading habit and a maximum height and width of 25 ft (7.6 m). The bark is smooth and reddish brown. Deep rosy-pink, bell-shaped flowers, about an inch across, appear in profusion before the leaves in early spring. They are borne in clusters of 2-6, and are very showy. The fruits are small cherries, 1/8 in (0.3 cm) in diameter, ripening to black. The leaves turn bronze in autumn.
Prunus campanulata has been hybridized with other cherry species to produce several important ornamental trees. One of the finest is 'Okame', the product of a cross with P. incisa; it is a very showy small tree with carmine-red flowers and brilliant orange autumn foliage.
Taiwan cherry, Prunus campanulata, is native to southern China, Taiwan and Japan's Ryukyu Islands.
CultureLight: Does best in full sun, but will tolerate considerable shade. Moisture: Regular garden watering. Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 - 9. Taiwan cherry tolerates heat better than other flowering cherries. Propagation: Seeds germinate following a cold treatment of several weeks. Can also be started from tip cuttings taken in spring or early summer and rooted under mist in a sterile potting medium.
Fast-growing Taiwan cherry will usually bloom in its third year from seed. This is an outstanding flowering tree for the Japanese style garden or simply as a specimen or accent anywhere early spring color is desired. The fruits are relished by songbirds. Unfortunately, Taiwan cherry seldom lives more than 10-15 years.
The flowers of Taiwan cherry are almost neon pink, and considered by many to be the most beautiful of the flowering cherries.
There are more than 400 species in the genus Prunus, including the peach (P. persica), sweet cherry (P. avium), black cherry (P. serotina), American plum (P. americana), Japanese plum (P. salicina), European plum (P. domestica), cherry laurel (P. caroliniana), apricot (P. armeniaca), almond (P. dulcis), and chokecherry (P. virginiana). Most are shrubs or small trees occurring in Europe, Asia or North America.
Steve Christman 3/13/00; updated 2/5/04, 1/1/07