A Visual Guide to the Different Types of Sakura Trees

Sakura, commonly known as cherry blossoms, are a symbol of beauty and fleeting nature in Japanese culture. There are various types of sakura trees, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are some notable types of sakura:

1. Somei Yoshino (Prunus x yedoensis)

Somei Yoshino is the most well-known and widely cultivated variety of sakura in Japan. It features large clusters of pale pink to white flowers with five petals. Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms are known for their delicate beauty and are often seen in hanami (cherry blossom viewing) festivals.

2. Yamazakura (Prunus jamasakura)

Yamazakura, also known as wild cherry or mountain cherry, is a species of sakura native to Japan. It has slightly smaller flowers compared to Somei Yoshino, ranging from white to pale pink. Yamazakura trees can be found in mountainous areas and are known for their hardiness.

3. Shidarezakura (Prunus pendula)

Shidarezakura, also known as weeping cherry, is a type of sakura with drooping branches and cascading clusters of flowers. The pendulous branches create a graceful and elegant appearance. Shidarezakura can have pink or white flowers and is often cultivated as an ornamental tree in gardens.

4. Kanzan (Prunus serrulata ‘Kanzan’)

Kanzan, or Kwanzan, is a popular cultivar of sakura with double flowers that range from dark pink to light pink. The flowers are densely packed, creating a vibrant and eye-catching display. Kanzan cherry trees are commonly planted in parks and gardens for their abundant and showy blossoms.

5. Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis ‘Yoshino’)

Yoshino cherry is a cultivar derived from Somei Yoshino. It features pale pink to white flowers that are slightly larger than Somei Yoshino. Yoshino cherry trees are commonly planted in various countries, including the United States, as ornamental trees for their beautiful spring blossoms.

6. Ukon (Prunus × nipponica ‘Ukon’)

Ukon is a unique variety of sakura known for its yellow flowers. It is a rare and prized cultivar, adding a distinct touch to the sea of pink and white during cherry blossom season. Ukon cherry trees can be found in specific locations in Japan and are cherished for their rarity.

These are just a few examples of the many types of sakura found in Japan and other parts of the world. Each variety has its own charm and contributes to the breathtaking beauty of cherry blossom season.