Botanical name: Prunus serrulata
As Japans’s unofficial National Flower, the romance of the cherry blossom has enchanted us for decades. Not only do the gentle blush pink tones clustered cloud like on branches sing Spring, the soft drizzle of these blooms falling with the breeze has been polarised in cinema and fairy tales.
‘Under a cherry tree’ is one of the most wanted destinations for marriage across the globe and Cherry Blossoms are rooted deep in the culture of Japan, used widely in ancient Japan to forecast how crops for the coming year would develop. Modern Japan still celebrates Hanami – gatherings of friends to picnic under a canopy of Cherry Blossoms, enjoying the brief burst of the beauty of nature and springtime.
Most cherry trees bloom during the spring with a few varieties grown to flower mid to late Winter. With a short flowering period prior to the onset of leaves and early fruit, the blossom bursts of longevity depend on variety and can last two-three weeks before all of the blossoms are carried away by the wind.
The Shidarezakura Cherry Blossom, or weeping Cherry, has branches that fall like those of a weeping willow, bearing cascades of pink flowers.
The pink or white flowers of blossom grow in clusters at nodes on short spurs. They are past flowering by late September. Other blossom varieties include evergreen shrubs, flowering fruit trees, and all the stone fruits – almonds, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, and prunes, all very ornamental.
Blossoms have come to symbolise the transience of life and emerge frequently in Japanese art, film and music, as well as on kimonos, tea cups, plates and everyday objects.
The Queen gets a sprig of blossom from Glastonbury each year around Christmas time. The blossom comes from a tree on Wearyall Hill above the town, which is supposed to have grown from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea, mourner of Christ and alleged bearer of the holy grail, more than 2,000 years ago.
Image above via Pinterest featuring Spring Bouquet of fresh blossom mixed with magnolia, rose, alstro and freesia
Blossoms look amazing in large pedestal displays, installations or in windows to signal the arrival of Spring. They are often used in Spring wedding centrepieces and look amazing when mixed with on trend copper vessels and medicine jars. Beautiful on their own or mixed with other seasonal blooms, the buds will continue to bloom if kept in clean water after spent blooms have been extinguished. Melbourne florists can get their hands on beautiful locally grown cherry, ornamental and citrus fruit blossoms throughout Spring from our Grower of the Month Monvale Flowers. Read more about them here.
Cut Flower Tips:
- Buy when top florets are flushing and rest of branch semi-tightly budded, this will ensure flowers continue to blossom as the spent blooms die off
- Bind branches when transporting to avoid contact and disturbance to blooms
- Refresh water daily and keep vase clean and free of dirt and contamination
- Woody stemmed branches from flowering trees and shrubs need to have the ends of their stems split. Split the bottom of each stem by making a 1/2 to one-inch vertical cut.
See colour chart below for colour chart suggestions to pair with your Cherry Blossom.