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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Prunus campanulata - Taiwan Cherry Tree

The Bell-Flowered or Taiwan Cherry tree is a beautiful site in late winter to early spring. I recall seeing this one out of the corner of my eye and quickly circling around on my bike to see what the heck was so red in late winter. They are small deciduous flowering trees with beautiful deep red colored flowers growing to about 15' tall and slightly narrower with spreading branches. Not commonly seen. Blooms really really early, with very dark red flowers.



Same plant in the fall (have not seen any others), no fall color showing up by November though they should have some red color.



Leaves are deciduous, alternate, simple, 2-4" long, narrowly ovate to oval-lanceolate shaped, finely serrated margins, with a gland at the base of the leaf blade and dark green in summer. Deeply set veins.



Buds are clustered at the tips, sharp pointed, reddish in color.



Stems are smooth with lots of horizontal lenticles. This plant was grafted so the main trunk is something else.



Emerging just prior to or with the leaves, the 3/4" diameter flowers are in clusters of 2-6. You can see some of last years leaves and the new ones just emerging.




Produces small red fruit, 1/2" long. I have not seen them.

The popular 'Okame' Cherry has P. campanulata as one of the parents.

Misidentification:
Foliage looks like any Japanese cherry, but smaller. I am basing my identification on the flower color, leaf shape and the tree was in full bloom in February.

Location:
Aptos:
411 Townsend

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