Identification: Takasago - double pale pinks, green leaves, vase shaped, mid-season

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by wcutler, Apr 9, 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.

    Takasago, or Naden cherry, blossoms are so stunning just as they start to open, when there are still mostly fat deep pink and almost red buds mixed with semi-double blossoms, some very pale pink, some darker pink. The trees are generally sparsely branched and vase shaped or just a bit spreading. The leaf colour doesn't seem all that straightforward either. Before they open, the leaves appear greeny-bronze but when they're open, they're more bronzy-green or green. These photos are from March 27, 28, and April 1, 2007. The last is from April 14 and doesn't even look like it came from the same kind of tree to me. It probably isn't the exact same tree, but I don't think this tree looks any different now from all the other Takasagos on the street.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Note the dark centers to the maturing flowers. Another feature that will be noticeable later is the hairy foliage.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    This tree, from somewhere near 38th and Blenheim in Vancouver, is much better looking than the one posted above.
     

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  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I need these close-ups for comparison with a yet unidentified cherry, which might turn out to be Takasago.
     

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  5. eteinindia

    eteinindia Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Takasago blossoms compared to Accolade blossoms

    [Comment added by wcutler: Cherry Scout Mariko Izaki posted this in the Festival Favourites forum. She did such a nice job that I thought it would be interesting here. I was surprised to see how much larger the sepals are on the Takasagos and how much rounder the petals are.]

    Takasago Trees are very different from Accolade trees.
    No one makes mistakes.
    Tree shape is different, blooming time is different also the color is different.
    But when you see this picture you might think it would be a picture of Accolade. 0080415_38th.&Wallace_Takasago_Izaki 015.JPG
    This is a picture of a center part of this tree located on 38th near Wallace.
    20080415_38th.&Wallace_Takasago_Izaki 014.JPG
    Yesterday I found an Accolade tree on 37th between Highbury and Wallace. I picked up some fallen flowers and brought them home with Takasago flowers and put in a salad bowl. Then I mixed up which is which.

    Today I collected Takasago flowers from 38th and Accolade flowers from 50th.
    (There were no flowers fallen at 37th!! So I had to go to 50th and Marine Crescent.)
    20080416_38th.Takasago_37thAccolade_50thAccolade_Izaki 001.jpg 20080416_38th.Takasago_37thAccolade_50thAccolade_Izaki 005.jpg

    I brought back home and compared them thoroughly.
    20080416_38th.Takasago_50thAccolade_Izaki 012.jpg 20080416_50th&MarineCr._Accolade_Izaki 014.JPG 20080416_38th.Takasago_50thAccolade_Izaki 015.JPG

    Then I put them in a salad bowl. I put 8 flowers each.
    But still I found difficulty to recognize which was which.
    20080416_38th.Takasago_50thAccolade_Izaki 023.JPG
     
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  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  7. Douglas Justice

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

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    Ron,

    Yes, I understood this when I advised the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to adopt the name 'Takasago' over P. x sieboldii.

    I think Kuitert's argument is persuasive, in that, as he writes: "...apart from its striking pubescence... 'Takasago' has no characteristics that distinguish it from typical P. serrulata forms." Secondly, the supposed hybrid cross (P. speciosa x P. apetala) has not actually been reproduced, leaving some doubt regarding the origins of the cultivar. As a cultivar of ambiguous origins, it then fits comfortably in the Sato-zakura Group category.

    Much of cultivated cherry tree biology, systematics and nomenclature is problematic, to say the least. In the face of so much ambiguity, I feel we need to be honest and say only what we we are certain of. For example, 'Takasago' is an identifiable (i.e., named) Japanese cultivated flowering cherry (i.e., not known in the wild) that is probably of hybrid origin and that was introduced into the West in 1864. Beyond that and a botanical description, it is difficult to say, with any certainty, what are its closest relatives.

    Traditional comparative morphological studies, as well as analyses using numerical taxonomy and flavonoid and isozyme techniques have not lived up to expectations with respect to clarifying relationships among cultivated and wild cherries. Most modern molecular (e.g., cpDNA) studies are good at elucidating the higher relationships (section, subfamily, family, etc.), but are not so good on distinguishing the cultivars. I don't know if researchers have used RAPD, RFLP or AFLP DNA mapping techniques for Sato-zakura cultivars (if so, I haven't seen them), but fruiting cherry cultivars have been the subjects of such research, with favourable results. I would assume that this is where we'd derive the most useful information about origins and relationships. However, until more robust techniques are employed, we're left with what are admittedly imprecise, catch-all categories for trees like 'Takasago'.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    It would seem to pivot on what "typical P. serrulata forms" is supposed to mean. Kuitert retains a full set of combinations like P. serrulata var. spontanea whereas Jacobson recognizes only P. serrulata Lindl., in which case there is no plurality of P. serrulata forms (in the botanical sense) for the Naden cherry to resemble. If, as you appear to be indicating here Kuitert is thought instead to be referring to the polymorphous garden cherries (Sato-Zakura) as "typical P. serrulata forms" (despite not treating these hybrids elsewhere as pure P. serrulata) then I wonder what these typical characteristics are.

    Maybe it's a problem with translating into English.

    In the previous paragraph he says its morphology indicates a P. apetala parentage. In the sentence right before the one you have excerpted he says "recent Japanese sources" are calling it P. x sieboldii 'Caespitosa'. Probably the RHS is following them. Might these "sources" have new information, or is it just more re-interpretation?
     
  9. Douglas Justice

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

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    I would love to have more time to look for such information (if it exists). I do scan the literature on occasion for new combinations, etc., but it appears that good, solidly scientific data on cultivated cherries is rare. This is why I tend to be conservative (taxonomically speaking). I suspect the information of which Kuitert writes is re-interpretation, since I've not seen it reported in the legitimate scientific literature. Though, if anyone has seen it, I'd love to know.

    I concede the point about taking liberties with Kuitert's interpretation. Indeed, I interpret him to mean Sato-zakura when he says P. serrulata (regarding the relationship of 'Takasago'). I then conveniently ignore his use of P. serrulata for infraspecific taxa, such as speciosa, spontanea, etc. I think I adopted this approach after reading The Nomenclature of Cultivated Japanese Flowering Cherries (Prunus): the Sato Zakura Group (USDA National Aboretum Contribution Number 5 by Roland Jefferson), which basically says (if I remember correctly) that P. serrulata is too confused to be a useful name.

    Yes, I pick and choose. I was calling Korean hill cherry P. verucunda for years, until I actually looked at it. Now, I prefer to use P. speciosa var. pubescens, as the tree seems to differ so little from Japanese hill cherry (P. speciosa) except in the degree of pubescence and a few other minor characters. But again, I'm willing to entertain another point of view, as long as it's coherent and based on solid evidence.
    [Edited by wcutler: the conversation that begins with this last paragraph has been moved to
    P. verecunda and other single white mysteries, mid-season ]
     
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  10. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Here are some Takasago leaves, from the tree in the photo on the left.
    20090807_BarclayNelson_Takasago_Cutler_DSC04250.jpg 20090807_BarclayNelson_Takasago_Cutler_DSC04251.jpg 20090807_BarclayNelson_Takasago_Cutler_DSC04253.jpg

    And another set, I forget if from the tree on the left or right side of the street - they're both Takasagos.
    20090807_CarderoBarclay_Takasago_Cutler_DSC04244.jpg 20090807_CarderoBarclay_Takasago_Cutler_DSC04247.jpg

    Neither set of leaves looks fuzzy now, certainly nothing like Douglas Justice's photo posted as an example to compare with what still might be a Takasago.
     
  11. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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