2016

 
 

Japanese flowering apricot, or Prunus mume, is another of those trees of which few people have heard and even fewer planted, which makes for a real mystery since it is such a spectacular flowering tree. It is also a fast grower and at 20 feet, an ideal size for modern gardens. In late spring and summer it’s clothed in handsome dark green foliage with a pleasant rounded habit. But it is during the gloom of winter that this tree’s great beauty bursts through. Starting as early as January in the warmer regions, the Japanese Flowering Apricot produces beautiful, delicate, fragrant flowers for many weeks at the point in time when we need them most. These flowers, white, red or pink; single or double, have a lovely spicy fragrance. And yet, it is a sturdy tree resistant to most insects and diseases and hardy throughout much of the US though it's unlikely that it can survive the winters of New England or Canada. It does exceedingly well in the UK as well as temperate Australia and New Zealand.
For maximum appreciation, plant Japanese flowering apricot along a frequently used walkway or close to your house, remembering that bloom time is the middle of winter when outdoor activities are curtailed. Although the tree is considered to be short lived, there are many specimens that have exceeded twenty years of age.

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Japanese flowering apricot

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