In general it is best to seek out trees with multi-season interest so that at almost anytime of the year there would be some attractive characteristic to adorn the garden. There are, however, some trees who possess a single characteristic that is so spectacular that owning one is perfectly understandable. And quite often such a tree is a cherry tree.

Flowering cherry trees are early spring flowering trees that produce single or double, white or pink blooms on either upright or weeping trees. And across the northern hemisphere 'Cherry blossom time' is the most beautiful time of the year, whether it's in London, Tokyo or Washington, D.C., wherever flowering cherries are planted. And these amazing spring bloomers are easy to grow in open, sunny locations with well-drained soil and they rarely require pruning. And in truth, most cherries do have other characteristics, such as attractive bark or autumn color to recommend them. But one thing that a flowering cherry rarely has going for it is scent, until now that is. There is a new cherry that has become quite popular that combines brilliant spring flowering and sweet fragrance and this is Fragrant Cloud flowering cherry, or Prunus serrulata Taki-Nioi. The rich scent of its blossom, which is so rare among cherries, will perfume the early spring garden while the large, white, semi-double flowers that mature to pink will put on a stunning display year after year. Fragrant Cloud will grow to an open vase, 20 feet tall with a 15 foot spread, in 20 years, forming a small tree well suited to modern gardens. There is also some attractive foliage which emerges bronze in spring, turning to emerald in summer and finally orange in autumn. Fragrant cloud is pollution tolerant and will thrive in most soils aside from very wet ones or shallow chalk. Fragrant Cloud cherry does well across much of Canada as well as the upper US. It is fully hardy throughout the UK and does well in temperate Australia and New Zealand.

At present Fragrant Cloud is rare, being available mostly in the better nurseries. However, its many assets means that it will be growing in popularity and availability.

Fragrant Cloud cherry


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