Cherry flowers in spring may be white or pink and have varying numbers of petals.  A  ‘single’ flower has 5 petals, a ‘semi-double’ flower has 2 rows of 5 petals and a ‘double’ has 3 or more rows. ‘semi-double or double’ flowers arise when some of the rows of anthers  become petals. 

Wild Cherry flowers

The Wild Cherry Prunus avium is widely planted in new woodlands, parks, gardens and streets. It has ‘single’ flowers.

Wild Cherry cultivar 'Plena'

The Wild Cherry cultivar ‘Plena’ has white ‘double’ flowers. Each flower has up to 30 petals.

Japanese Flowering Cherries are a large group of cultivars that were bred in Japan from the 15th Century and were known collectively as Sato Zakura (village cherries). Their taxonomic origin is unclear but one of their parents is believed to be the Japanese Cherry (Prunus serrulata), native to northern and central China, Korea and Japan. The flowering cherries were introduced to Britain as early as 1822. They bear white or pink flowers in spring. There are more than 20 cultivars on sale in Britain. Some examples are shown here.


'Kanzan' Cherry tree

‘Kanzan’ has pink ‘double’ flowers in spring before the leaves. 

'Kanzan' Cherry flower

Each ‘Kanzan’ flower has 25 to 28 petals.

'Amanogawa' Cherry tree

‘Amanogawa’ has a vertical shape 

'Amanogawa' Cherry flower

It has ‘semi-double’ pale pink flowers.

'Shirofugen' Cherry flower

‘Shirofugen’ has pink/white ‘double’ flowers and is one of the last to flower in spring.  Each flower has 25 or more petals.

'Tai Haku' Cherry flower

‘Tai Haku’, also known as the Great White Cherry, has very large, white, ‘single’ flowers and big leaves.