Taxonomy

Prunus serrulata is a true cherry, belonging to Prunus subgenus Cerasus within the subfamily Prunoideae in the Rosaceae.

Morphology
  • Deciduous tree to 15m but often little more than 3m
  • Bark brown with paler bands of lenticels. 
  • Leaves 
    • 6-12 x 3-6cm
    • ovate to oblong or obovate
    • acuminate
    • margins serrate
      • the teeth with slender and often aristate tips
  • Flowers appearing just before or with the leaves in clusters of 2-6
    • 2-3.5cm across
    • pink in bud, pink or white and flat when fully open
    • calyx tube campanulate, lobes entire
    • petals 5, emarginate
    • style
  • Fruit ovoid, black
Diagnostic description

Prunus serrulata is distinguished from other cherry species by the leaves with usually aristate or slender-tipped marginal teeth, the flowers 2-3.5cm diameter, in corymbs of 2-5, and the fruit ovoid and shiny black when ripe.

  • prunus-speciosa
    Lookalikes

    Find out about species similar in appearance to Prunus serrulata and how it is distinguished from these species.

Subgenera 

Other subgenera within Prunus include

  • Familiar fruits  
    • plums
    • damsons
    • apricots 
    • almonds
  • as well as 
    • bird cherries 
    • cherry-laurels