As the Kanzan cherry trees (Prunus ‘Kanzan’) in the Cherry Esplanade head toward peak bloom, the excitement is palpable—for good reason. Their deep pink, double blossoms, plus the central location of the esplanade have made this a favorite cherry cultivar of many visitors. But be sure to notice the variety of cherry trees in the Garden, too.
The Prunus serrulata cultivars, for instance, are also heading toward peak bloom, including the fragrant ‘Taki-Nioi’ and as well as the ‘Ukon’, which features delicate flowers that change colors several times while in bloom. “They’re greenish when they open, then yellowish green. That's where the name ukon comes from,” says Brian Funk, curator the Japanese Hill-and-Pond-Garden. "After that they turn white and finally pink,”
Specimens of several P. serrulata cultivars can be found in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, including a ‘Taki-Nioi’ near the front gate, and two ‘Ukon’ near the upper waterfall. There is also a variety in the Cherry Cultivars Area. Check CherryWatch for detailed descriptions and locations of more cultivars.