Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Winter flowering tree Taiwan Cherry (Prunus campanulata)

At the NMIT Fairfield campus where I study Horticulture there is a sad looking row of Taiwan Cherry trees. Sad because the have had some bad pruning done on them but at the end of the row is the beautiful tree you see in the pictures below. Prunus campanulata is a tree native to China and Japan. According to information I've seen on the good old internet it can grow to 7m high with a spread of 7m however I can't say I've ever seen one grow to that size. Maybe in Melbourne they don't quite have the ideal conditions they require for full growth or maybe I've just been unlucky and walked past a huge specimen without looking. This beautiful tree is actually an environmental weed in New Zealand where it has spread throughout several parts of the country. Cultural notes on this tree seem to be basically the standard (ie rich and well drained soil with moist conditions) but the fact that it has escaped as a weed in New Zealand seems to suggest that it is not too fussy about its habitat. In all the cultural  notes I've found it is stated that it will grow in clay, loam or sandy soil and it also like full sun. I think that this tree would look great in conjunction with some traditional Cherry Blossom trees as it flowers at the same time.

Prunus campanulata flowers in bloom

The tree in it's entirety and in full bloom.

Close up of the flowers.

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