April's plant of the month: Fuji cherry

It’s very easy to see how Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-Mai’ has been given the Award of Garden Merit, as it has so many outstanding qualities

Fuji cherry in flowerAt this time of year the small, compact frame of the Fuji cherry (Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-Mai’) is so tightly packed with flowers that it resembles a little pinkish-white cloud. One of the things that is so nice is that it is naturally very multi-branching from the base, and continues to grow as a compact shrub - provided it is not out-competed by other faster-growing plants.

Multi-season interest

As well as putting on such an impressive display of blooms on bare stems, this plant has two more very appealing features. In the autumn the small leaves turn an array of impressive autumnal tones like so many other Prunus do, and once these leaves fall to the ground the stems themselves can be appreciated. Having an almost zigzag form makes it a particularly interesting plant when not in leaf.

Zigzag pattern of Fuji cherry twigs in winterOur biggest plant, which has only been with us for two years, is around knee height. It is planted in the old winter garden, and is one of the few plants that can be appreciated from autumn, through winter and into spring, whilst looking completely different in each of those seasons.

This is a good choice for gardeners who want the blossom that so many flowering cherries provide but don’t have the space that so many require.

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