Prunus Awanui

Prunus Awanui feeding the monarch butterflies this week

Prunus Awanui feeding the monarch butterflies this week

Prunus Awanui is pretty as a picture at our place. This flowering cherry looks like fine lace against the sky, a mass of softest, palest pink, small flowers with not a leaf in sight. We have it underplanted with Rhododendron Elsie Frye which is the same colouring but has considerably larger flowers (and fragrant) and when looked at from further away, we have a Magnolia Iolanthe framed in the view too. All tone in together very well. On a sunny day, Awanui is alive with monarch butterflies, honey bees and waxeyes.

It popped up in a garden where eagle-eyed local nurseryman Keith Adams thought it had potential. It has now become a market standard. It roots easily from cutting, remains healthy and is easy and reliable. With our high rainfalls in Taranaki, we are not the best territory for most flowering cherry trees which tend to be short lived as they develop root problems. Awanui does not appear to be so pernickety despite the fact it probably has subhirtella in its parentage. In good growing conditions, it can get quite large. Our tree is maybe nine metres across and six metres high and would have been larger had it been left to its own devices, but it is a light and airy tree and it flowers faithfully every year and looks completely charming. This is a plant that is generally readily available on the market in New Zealand.