Plant Collector: Prunus x yedoensis ‘Ivensii’ with collospermum

Prunus x yedoensis 'Ivensii'

Prunus x yedoensis ‘Ivensii’

Trying to delve into the origins of flowering cherries of the Japanese types was far more complex than I expected so I will keep it simple and say that this is a hybrid, sometimes known as the ‘Yoshino Cherry’. This particular variety was named at the UK’s famed Hillier Nurseries because of its weeping habit and wonderful tortuous branches. Our mature specimen looks a bit like a rigid octopus and has a near flat top. Prunus do not have a long flowering season but while it is in full flight, it is a veritable froth of white single blossoms reputedly with a sweet almond scent but I wouldn’t buy this as a fragrant tree. Even when mature, it is only a small specimen – maybe four metres high and about the same in width.

The rather odd effect of the native epiphyte, Collospermum (probably hastatum) looks like tuft of hair poking out of the centre. These flax or astelia-like plants are sometimes referred to as the perching lily or, less romantically, widow-makers. That is because they can be large and heavy and have a habit of eventually falling out of the tree. Other than that, they do no harm.

First published in the Waikato Times and reproduced here with their permission.

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2 thoughts on “Plant Collector: Prunus x yedoensis ‘Ivensii’ with collospermum

  1. Robyn Kilty

    Fascinating about your ‘Ivensii’, it’s compact stature and beautifully tortuous branches suggests it could be more alpine in origin. So different to our canopies of ‘Yoshino’ cherries, or Prunus yedoensis which we walk beneath, as under bridal veils in Hagley Park in mid-September. Of all the hundreds if P.yedoensis here, I’ve never seen a cluster of semi-double blossom – all single, lacy and delicate.
    They can also have tortuous branches, but are much taller and their shapes are umbrella-like shapes rather than weeping. Admittedly the more recently planted trees have been grafted on to 2m tall metre standards, which gives them height before they even start.
    I would love to see the ‘Ivensii’ sometime.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs tells me that this was selected because of its weeping habit and that Yedoensis is an early hybrid between speciosa and subhirtella. You had me worried whether I was wrong and it was in fact single, so I headed out to check and a bit of an oops in my original version. Pendulous it may be, the indeed they are single flowers. Apologies. We would of course love to see you here any time.

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