This is the second part of a series on weeping cherry cultivars.
Weeping cherry is an ornamental tree that is widely celebrated for its elegant weeping habit, and delicate, festooning blooms. Numerous cultivars have been derived from weeping cherry, each exhibiting unique characteristics that differentiate it from the parent species. The following examines some of the most notable cultivars available for purchase in garden centers and nurseries, including ‘Kiku-Shidare-Zakura’, ‘Pendula’, ‘Pendula plen a rosea’, and ‘Pink Flowers’.
‘Kiku-Shidare-Zakura’, sometimes referred to as ‘Cheal’s Weeping’ cherry, ‘Kiku-shidare-sakura’, and weeping chrysanthemum cherry, is a small tree with brilliantly colored, cascading foliage. It reaches a height and spread of 6 to 8 feet. This variety has an arched, drooping habit, In early spring, the branches are densely covered in deep pink colored blooms. The flowers appear just prior to budburst. They are spherically shaped. ‘Kiku-Shidare-Zakura’ can produce flowers with more than 100 petals per flower, considerably more than that of the double-flowering varieties. Newly emerging foliage is a light copper tone. The leaves mature to a glossy dark green by summer. In fall, they turn bright shades of orange and yellow. This variety is tolerant of pollution, and can be planted in a variety of soil types. ‘Kiku-Shidare-Zakura’ translates to “cascading chrysanthemum” in Japanese.
‘Pendula’ is a small to medium sized ornamental tree that reaches 20 to 30 feet tall, and 15 to 25 feet wide. When young, ‘Pendula’ has a strongly weeping branching habit. As the tree matures, the branches become slightly arched, but continue to weep. In early spring, the branches are replete with delicate, single pink flowers. The color of the flowers is deeper and persists for longer than that of most other weeping cherry varieties. Ovate, bronze-green leaves emerge in spring, before maturing to dark green in summer. By fall, the leaves turn a vibrant shade of yellow.
‘Pendula plen a rosea’, also referred to as ‘Pendula Rosea’, is a small to medium sized tree that grows 15 to 25 feet in height and width. It grows at a fast rate, and establishes a broad crown, with arching, pendulous branches. The weeping branches are covered in deep rose-pink flower buds in spring. The buds open to reveal an abundance of small, single pink flowers. The flowers are held aloft in clusters of 2 to 5 blooms. The blooms are somewhat transparent. As the flowers expire toward the end of spring, they are followed by small, inedible black fruit. Elliptic to ovate, serrate, dark green leaves appear in spring. The dark green color lingers into summer, before brightening to resplendent shades of orange and red in fall.
‘Pink Flowers’ is a small to medium sized tree that grows 20 to 25 feet tall, with a 15 to 20 foot spread. It has a rounded form, with a weeping branch habit. It grows at an average rate. In spring, the branches are replete with fragrant, pink flowers. New leaves are initially a bronze tone, but turn a glossy green as they mature. By fall, the leaves deepen to a warm bronze coloration, prior to being shed. ‘Pink Flowers’ requires planting in sites exposed to full sunlight. It grows best in moist, well-drained soil, and should be watered frequently, especially during extended periods of drought.
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Photo courtesy of Plant Image Library.