BRUNS plant of the month - November

Prunus serrula – Mahogany Barked Cherry

Warm shades of colour during the grey November

Most ornamental cherry trees create a lovely scene in spring with their spectacular bloomage. However, this is not the main aspect of the Mahogany Barked Cherry which is native to the the mountainous region of West-China. Its blossoms appear in April/May and are rather unobtrusive. They reach a diameter of about 2 cm and are single and white.

The advantages of this botanical species are truly visible beginning in winter. Its smooth and shiny reddish brown bark makes for structural and colour accents in the garden during autumn and winter. It is most lovely at short range, meaning the ideal spot is when placed near the house or directly on a path.

With annual growth of about 30 cm, the often multi-trunked Mahogany Barked Cherry reaches a height of about 9 m after several decades. It thrives in sunny to partially shaded garden areas and is not fussy about the type of garden soil. The shoots are copper-coloured, with the foliage later turning dark green.

Overall, the genus Prunus offers a huge variety of ornamental and useful shrubs with more than 400 wild species and thousands of cultivars. Among the most well-known are certainly the Japanese cherry blossom as well as the Prunus serrulata 'Kanzan' and Prunus 'Accolade'. Yet also important fruit trees such as cherries, plums, almonds and peaches belong to the Prunus genus. The species and varieties of laurel cherry, Prunus laurocerasus, (often also called cherry laurel) also offer evergreen members of this genus. In addition to their high ornamental value, the blossoms and fruits of many species have a great ecological significance for insects and songbirds.