Friday, October 19, 2018

Sakura Blossoms in Autumn?

You may heard or read several news about cherry blossom are blooming recently just like what was reported on these articles,


Just like the others, I was very much surprised by these articles. Even BBC wrote about that before digging some advance information. Those claims about weather changed caused by Jebi typhoon. As an ex horticulturist, I doubt those articles due to the existence of an autumn cherry blossom species.

Autumn Cherry Blossom

Only few people knows about autumn cherry blossom, but Japanese should know about the existence of the species. The first time I heard about this species is on 2012, from my Vietnamese friend, Hami chan, who said that she went to Inuyama Castle in October to see the autumn cherry blossom (Sakura). On the following October, I had a chance to see the autumn sakura at Shinjuku Gyouen Park in Tokyo.

However, it is understandable why there are not much people knows about the autumn sakura. That is because just few species-es exist, as far as I know. Here, I give you more detail about the autumn sakura.

Species Name: Prunus subhirtela

Known as an autumn sakura, winter-flowering cherry, higan cherry, or rosebud cherry originated from Japan. It is allegedly a hybrid species from P. incisa (known also as P. nipponica) x P. spachiana. There are several cultivars of P. subhirtela that grows here, in Japan. Different from all spring species-es, this species is blossoming just before the leaves fall down. Here, I will show you what the autumn sakura looks like.

Cultivar Name: Autumnalis / Jyugatsu Zakura / Higan Cherry

Jyugatsu Zakura

Jyugatsu means October, judging from the name, it obviously blossoms during October. Flowers are double pale pink to white petals color blossom during fall season. You can go to Shinjuku Gyouen Park to enjoy this cherry blossom. Be aware, Jyugatsu zakura will not blossoms on Spring.

Cultivar Name: P. cerasus var Koboku Zakura

Koboku Zakura

Known as Koboku-zakura in Japan. This actually one of P. cerasus cultivar. Where, P. cerasus is known as a sour cherry, one of some cherry tree species which can produce fruits, and normally blossoms during spring. However, Koboku zakura blossoms during fall with its beautiful white to pink petals.

Cultivar Name: P. parfivolia var Fuyu Zakura

Fuyu Zakura

Often misidentified as P. fudanzakura from its petal shapes. Fuyu zakura comes from P. parfivolia which is one cultivar of P. pseudocerasus which blossoms during spring just like the other spring species-es. However, Fuyu zakura, like its name Fuyu means winter, blossoms during winter with its single white petals.

We shouldn't be surprised of this blossoming time caused by weather changed. But rather about just a natural time for those to just blossom. We can enjoys these sakura blossom during late of October to early November. So this week will be a good timing to go on autumn sakura hunt.