Cherry blossom season is underway and we are thrilled to welcome the return of these delicate pink flowers. Despite being difficult to grow in our warm and mild winters, we have three ornamental varieties. One set is a hybrid from the United States National Arboretum. Another was a chance discovery from the Huntington Library Art Museum and Botanic Garden. And the third species was a gift from Disneyland.  Below is more information on each variety and where they can be found within our 87 acres. 

  • Prunus ‘First Lady’ – An ornamental cherry bred by the United States National Arboretum, this is a hybrid that does well here due to its Prunus campanulata (Taiwan cherry) parentage making it tolerant of warmer winter conditions thanks to its subtropical heritage. This variety is deep pink with slightly narrower, notched petals and flowers on bare branches. It usually flowers earlier than our ‘Pink Cloud’ variety and after our Prunus campanulata. They are currently blooming in our Dorothy and Allen Lay Staghorn Fern Collection. 


  • Prunus ‘Pink Cloud’ – A chance seedling discovered growing at The Huntington Library, this species is special because it is the most reliable flowering ornamental cherry species in Southern California. Almost no other variety does as well in our climate. Its exact parentage is unknown, but it is thought to be another hybrid of  Prunus campanulata (Taiwan cherry) as it is the most tolerant of warmer winter conditions. Our ‘Pink Cloud’ blossoms on bare branches and has pale pink flowers with rounder petals when compared to our other varieties. It is also the largest of the three and the last to flower in the Garden. They can be found in the Pollination Garden, Dorothy and John Bohannon Rose Garden, the Amphitheatre and Sakura Meadow. 


  • Prunus campanulata (Taiwan cherry) – Native to the southern islands of Japan, through Taiwan, southern China and into Vietnam, this wild cherry species is tolerant of milder, warmer climates. Where other cherry species struggle, this one survives due to its subtropical native range. The ones planted in the Garden were gifts from Disneyland and while they were labled Prunus campanulata, we suspect they might actually be a hybrid. The true wild species has nodding, bell-shaped and hot pink flowers. The ones in the Garden are a lighter pink and not as bell-shaped. Our Taiwan cherry trees tend to flower and leaf out at the same time and are the earliest to bloom. They are just about done for the season so if you’re planning a visit to the Garden soon, make sure to see them. They can be found in the Amphitheatre Lawn and Sakura Meadow. 

If you want to see our cherry blossoms in person, you can purchase tickets here