In Japan they are lucky to be able to enjoy, year after year, a great variety of flowers whose beauty stands out on any landscape. They are so beautiful, that the rest of the world could not help sowing the seeds in their respective countries, to such an extent that nowadays, when words like Japanese cherry (cherry blossom in English), many people know what tree it is.
Now, that is not the only plant that attracts attention. It’s more, there are several Japanese flowers that are grownnot only in the gardens where they originate, but also in those of other regions.
Flowers are an essential part of Japanese culture, forever. Already at the time of the samurai (around the XNUMXth century of our era) they were so fixed on them that they drew them on all kinds of surfaces, turned them into bouquets, and were even worshiped and celebrated (as is still done today, by the way , during the festival of Hanami, during spring).
But what are they? Well, they are the following:
Japanese cherry or sakura
It is the one we all know. The most popular. But beware, there is not only a single variety, but there are a few more. All of them are deciduous trees belonging to the genus Prunus. Some of the most appreciated in their country of origin are:
- Prunus’ Kiku-Shidare-Zakura‘: or simply Shidare Zakura, it is a tree native to Japan that reaches a height of 20 meters. Its crown is wide and very dense, producing a large number of pink flowers similar to those of chrysanthemums in early spring.
- Prunus serrulata: It is the Japanese blossom cherry, although it also grows in Korea and China. It can reach a height of up to 20 meters, with a dense and wide crown. Its flowers are white or pink, and appear about April-May in the northern hemisphere. It is considered a national emblem of Japan. There are different varieties, such as the ‘Spontanea’ or the ‘Serrulata’.
- Prunus x yedoensis: it is a natural hybrid between Prunus speciosa (called Oshima zakura in Japan) and Prunus pendula f. come up (Edo higan). It reaches a height of 5-12 meters, with a dense crown. It blooms in early spring, producing white or pale pink flowers.
Camellia from Japan
Plants of the genus Camellia They are trees and shrubs native to Asia, where they are abundant in China and Japan. Of all the varieties there are, the most famous is the Camellia japonicanative to Japan.
It can reach a height of 1 to 6 meters, and its leaves are perennial, leathery, and of a glossy dark green color. Blooms in springproducing pink, red or white flowers.
The chrysanthemum, or kiku in Japanese, is a perennial plant native to Asia that reaches a height of up to 1,5 meters belonging to the genus Chrysanthemum. Its stems are erect, and alternate leaves sprout from them, lobed or lanceolate, whose upper surface is glabrous and the underside is hairy. But, without a doubt, its ornamental value is given by its flowers, which are compound, measure up to 8 centimeters in diameter and are of very varied colors (yellow, red, orange, pink, …). Blooms in fall.
As a curiosity, to say that it was introduced in Japan in the XNUMXth century, and the emperor who had the country then used it as an imperial seal. Today, she is honored during the Japanese Chrysanthemum Festival or Choyo no Sekku.
Mossy phlox, or flower moss, is a perennial native to eastern North America, but is extraordinarily popular in Japan, where it is called shibazakura. It belongs to the species The phlox was brought downand reaches a height of 5 to 15 centimeters.
Its leaves are linear, green, and produces flowers in spring of different colors (pink, lilac, white, lavender blue or purple red).
The peach o momo in Japanese it is a deciduous tree that also belongs to the genus Prunus; However, I have thought it appropriate to separate it as it is NOT originally from Japan, but from China, Iran and Afghanistan. Its scientific name is Prunusand was introduced in the Japanese country in the Yayoi period, around 300 BC. C.
It reaches a height of about 6-8 meters, and its leaves are oblong-lanceolate to elliptical. Its flowers bloom in springbefore the leaves, and are pink. In addition, it produces edible fruits.
Ipomea Morning Glory
The ‘Morning Glory’ or asagao in Japanese is an herb of habit we could say climber that reaches a height of up to 1 meter as long as it has support. Its scientific name is Sleep nil and it is also known as bluebell or bluebell. It was introduced to Japan during the Heian period (AD 794-1185).
Its leaves are trilobed, green, and produces flowers throughout the summer colored blue, purple, white, pink or red.
The orange-flowered Osmanthus, or kinmokusei in Japanese, it is a medium-sized evergreen shrub or tree that reaches a height of 3 to 12 meters and belongs to the species osmanthus fragrans. It is native to Asia, specifically, from the Himalayas to China and southern Japan.
Its leaves are lanceolate, whole with the margin also whole or a little toothed. It produces very fragrant orange flowers in this case during the summer.
What do you think of these Japanese flowers? Do you know others?