34. Yoshino Cherry

(Prunus x yedoensis)

Other Common Name: Tokyo Cherry

Family: Rosaceae

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Enter the Quad and you now behold the Yoshino cherries. This locally famous planting brings the campus joy every March or early April, as the dark trunks and branches blossom with millions of white or faintest pink flowers. Photographers mill about, people have picnics, everyone smiles. These trees were moved here from the arboretum because of highway construction; their loss was our gain.

Yoshino cherry originated around 1870 in Tokyo as a natural hybrid. It grows larger than most flowering cherries, and sets some fruit, albeit small and plain. Later in spring you can see Hisakura cherries open their pinker, larger flowers.

The blossoms of cherry trees are edible and are often pickled and then made into a tea and drunk at festivals such as weddings. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves, and a dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit.

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