Boulevard flowering cherries - what variety?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by wynn, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    I really admire these street trees (seen along many city streets in flower right now). They are a small flowered, billowing pinkish/white tree - the trunks on mature ones look almost black in contrast to the delicate flower colour. White with a subtle pink tinge. I can snap a photo next time I see one if the description doesn't help with identification. I thought perhaps someone would know what variety may have been planted on mass by the City at one time (about 40 years ago?). I would like to buy some.

    Wynn
     
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    They're probably plums, not cherries. One of the most commonly planted trees in Vancouver is the myrobalan or cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera )--actually a number of purple-leaf cultivars of that species, including 'Thundercloud' 'Nigra' and 'Pisardii'. They're fairly easily distinguished from most flowering cherries in winter by their smoother, darker stems and more upright, rounded crowns. In bloom, plums typically have solitary flowers (i.e., arising directly from the stems). Look for opening leaf buds: in plums, the leaves are rolled around each other; in cherries the leaves are folded.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of cherries on Vancouver's streets now. Check out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival web site for more information and images.
     
  3. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you Douglas! There were, in fact, prunus cerasifera. I found a very pretty variation 'hollywood' for my own garden and now 3 of them gracefully surround a wrought iron gazebo planted with sweet autumn clematis and small leafed ivy. Thanks for your reply.
    Wynn
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  5. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    It is fascinating what one can learn from this forum and the array of knowledge! Thanks Ron. I will have to take a closer look at my trees. Whether they are true "spencer" or a lesser mongrel doesn't really matter. My heart flipped a couple of times when I saw the beauty of the buds and flowers (pink opening to white). Another impulse buy, sigh.

    Wynn
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The Oregon introduction ('Spencer') is smaller-growing than 'Hollywood', which might take up much more space as it matures.
     

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