Identification: Somei-Yoshino - billowy pink fading to white, single blossoms, mid-season

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by wcutler, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    This is not a question, but comments and corrections are very welcome.

    The Somei-Yoshino, or xYedoensis, is a parent of the Akebono, and usually looks exactly like it to most of us. There are some specimens that look clearly like one or the other, but there are zillions more than look identical. OK, I’ll stop complaining. The Somei-Yoshino has pink blossoms fading to white, seems more likely to have some green leaves starting to peek out with the blossoms, is supposed to have a bit more of an umbrella shape, and is supposed to never have more than five petals, unlike the Akebono which usually has some blossoms with a sixth petal or an extra half-petal thing on the front of the blossom. The petals are often a bit smaller than the Akebonos, and as the flowers age, the star in the centre looks pink. They blossom at roughly the same time as the Akebonos, right after the Accolades have faded (at least that was true for the west end of Vancouver this year). These have not been planted recently in Vancouver, so young trees that look like these are almost certainly Akebonos.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    'Akebono'.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I'm going to reply to this, Ron, as I think these really are Somei-Yoshino, the parent of Akebonos, and I posted them specifically to provide an example of this tree, so I'd like to not leave it in question for reference next year. My reasons for thinking they're Somei-Yoshino are:

    1) Doug Justice told us they are during the Cherry Blossom Festival walk last weekend, and he pointed out where two of the trees had been removed and replaced with Akebonos (not shown in the photos).
    2) The blossoms demonstrate all of the characteristics listed above that distinguish them from Akebonos (smaller size, no more than 5 petals, pink centres). You can compare the difference with Doug's photos of Akebonos.
    3) I'm less certain that I remember this correctly, but these trees have some occurrences of witches broom (I don't have a photo of that), and I thought Doug said they were particularly susceptible to that, but I might have got it wrong that it's these trees that are more susceptible than Akebonos.

    It may just be a matter of semantics, since Akebonos can be found listed as "Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’ Daybreak Yoshino Cherry", and we're using the name Somei-Yoshino for the parent and Akebono for the offspring.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I was going by their coloring and habit, as these appear in these two rather dark pictures. Somei-yoshino is usually longer-branched and whiter (at full bloom) than these look to be here. Anyone viewing the trees in person will be in a better position to decide what they are.
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Ron, I think it's important to photograph these things in the rain, don't you?, since that's the way we get to see them around here!, hence the dark photographs. Ha-ha, well, it was only drizzling. My understanding is that these flowers open pink and fade to white. So they may be new blossoms, but I'm not sure, as I don't hang out around UBC. Where I live in the west end (dense apartment building area off downtown) the Somei-yoshino and Akebonos have dropped half their petals and the green leaves are quite prominent already.
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    What cherry? Another single pinky white, early mid-season

    [edited by wcutler: this was posted as What cherry, but we're calling these trees Somei-yoshino, so I've merged the postings from the What cherry thread into the Somei-yoshino thread as more examples of what Somei-yoshino can look like.]

    What, another single white blossomed cherry? I know these are not Akebonos. I don't know that they're not Somei-yoshino, but the three of them do not have witches' broom, two of them don't have the flat-topped Somei-yoshino shape, and the one that does is quite young and I thought there weren't young Somei-yoshino around. The sepals look to be a very different shape from Sheila Petrie's mountain cherry, and to me, the sepals on these three and the rootstock of a neighbouring tree seem the same. Photos are from April 1, 2008 and I'm being very serious.

    South False Creek, foot of 1st Ave, at Fisherman's Wharf
    This tree is fully in bloom, while the Akebonos in the park behind it have only some open flowers and appear quite pink.
    20080401_1stFalseCrS_Cutler_1641.jpg 20080401_1stFalseCrS_Cutler_1635.jpg 20080401_1stFalseCrS_Cutler_1651.jpg 20080401_1stFalseCrS_Cutler_1640.jpg
    [Edited by Wendy] Joseph Lin has just posted photos of this tree in the Fairview blog and identified it as Somei-yoshino. Is that what these all are?

    Burrard Armory
    This tree is fully in bloom. It is supposed to be an Akebono, but I really think there are no staminode-bearing blossoms on this tree.
    20080401_BurrardArmory_Cutler_1677.jpg 20080401_BurrardArmory_Cutler_1696.jpg 20080401_BurrardArmory_Cutler_1678.jpg 20080401_BurrardArmory_Cutler_1679.jpg 20080401_BurrardArmory_Cutler_1695.jpg 20080401_BurrardArmory_Cutler_1700.jpg

    This photo is of rootstock growth on a very different later cherry next to the one above - these blossoms look the same to me as the ones above.
    20080401_BurrardArmoryRootstockOtherTree_Cutler_1702.jpg


    Pacific Ave west of Jervis, north side
    This poor thing has been pruned, and I think that's why it's so unshapely, not the result of witches' broom. It's also fully in bloom.
    20080401_PacificJervis_Cutler_1731.jpg 20080401_PacificJervis_Cutler_1736.jpg 20080401_PacificJervis_Cutler_1742.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Re: What cherry? Another single pinky white, early mid-season

    Has Joseph Lin caught one of these in his 'what cherry' post?
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Re: What cherry? Another single pinky white, early mid-season

    The answer is 'no' to what Joseph caught, which seems to be Pandora.

    This tree at Kits Beach Park looks like the Armory tree to me, and I'm calling it Somei-yoshino, but I'm not convinced. They both have a more chestnut tree shape to me than the Somei-yoshinos that I seem to be able to identify sometimes just from the tree shape. I'm so used to the carpet of whole flowers meaning that tree to me now that it doesn't seem to have occurred to me to try to get a photo of blossoms on the tree.
    20080403_KitsBeach_Cutler_SomeiYoshino_2088.jpg 20080403_KitsBeach_Cutler_SomeiYoshino_2085.jpg 20080403_KitsBeach_Somei_Yoshino_Cutler_2122.jpg

    So the question is: are these all the same and are they all Somei-yoshino?
     
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here are late blossoms and a photo showing teeth on the sepals, from one of the Lower Mall trees in Vancouver.
     

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  10. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here's a leaf photo from the Somei-yoshino trees on Lower Mall at UBC.
     

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  11. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    It's all kind-of been said here, but I'm just posting these to emphasize that when 'Somei-yoshino' open, the trees do look pink. In four or five days, when 'Akebono' open, these 'Somei-yoshino' will look relatively white next to the pink 'Akebono', which as they age, will look more white.

    These trees are at Kits Beach and the Burrard St Armory.
     
  12. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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