Prunus × yedoensis ‘Akebono’

Akebono cherry

  • © Great Plant Picks

  • © Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Walking beneath a grove of flowering cherries in full bloom feels like walking beneath clouds. And the most widely planted flowering cherry in the coastal Pacific Northwest is 'Akebono'. It has masses of large, semi-double, pink flowers that fade slightly as they age. It blooms in April, develops wide-spreading branches and has fall color of golden yellow with orange highlights. Its parents are P. subhirtella and P. speciosa. If you come across the original cross (simply called Prunus x yedoensis or Tokyo cherry), it is equally garden worthy, with single, whiter flowers that appear a little earlier than those of 'Akebono'. 'Akebono' is a seedling of P. x yedoensis selected and named at the W. B. Clark Nursery in San Jose, California, about 1920.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: pink

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established, but appreciates occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: exquisite spring flowers & autumn color

Wildlife Associations: birds

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: purple, bronze, chartreuse

Great Color Partners: white, pink, dark green

Culture Notes
This flowering cherry grows best in full sun. It prefers well-drained soil, but will tolerate sand and clay if drainage is adequate. Once it is established it is drought tolerant, but it does appreciate occasional watering during dry weather. It is noted for its disease resistance and tolerance of our wet cool spring weather. It has a naturally graceful layered branching habit and needs almost no pruning to achieve this shape. Pruning should be limited to the removal of dead, broken or poorly formed branches. Consult an experienced pruner or take local classes before attempting further pruning.