On a drizzly day, the cherry blossom, one of the most anticipated spring flowers in Hangzhou, stole the thunder of its competitors.
In another word, the time has come to raise the curtain on this year’s blooming season of oriental cherry.
In the past, you had to go to West Lake to appreciate cherry flowers, but in recent years, you could bump into them in your neighborhood or simply along the street.
Talking of cherry blossoms along the street, a romantic “Cherry Blossom Avenue” is open to public this year in Jianggan District, with trees planted on the greenway of East Fengqi Road (Xintang-Qiutao section).
There are altogether 90 oriental cherry trees, all early bloomers that have cute light pink flowers. According to Fan Lijuan, the staff from Hangzhou Bureau of Gardening and Cultural Relics, these trees were planted on April 7 last year. They belong to a Japanese cultivar named Edo Higan (Cerasus itosakura f. ascendens) that enjoys the longest life span among all sakura varieties in Japan. The trees are still small for the time being, yet they are growing with such exuberance that several years from now on you will be able to see its maturity full of romantic blossoms.
East Fengqi Road is now the only road in Hangzhou where contiguous Edo Higan can be found. Early cherry bloomers along the city streets and avenues mostly belong to Somei Yoshino, a hybrid of Edo Higan and Oshima Cherries. The existence of Somei Yoshino next to its “mother” Edo Higan, has added to the attractions for this year’s blooming season in Hangzhou.
As we have reported the other day, besides Edo Higan, the government also planted 190 Yoko Sakura trees along streets in Jianggan District, which are currently blooming in stunning beauty, and introduced oriental cherry trees of 19 cultivars to Xintiandi in Xiacheng District to improve the local environment, among which 16 are newcomers.
According to Fan, Hangzhou has started to import quality sakura cultivars since 2016. In 2020, the government stepped up its efforts by introducing another 30 quality cultivars to Hangzhou’s urban parks, green lands and streets. As a result, the delightful scenery of blooming sakura trees on green lands is now available in more places.
According to incomplete statistics, Hangzhou is now home to over 40 varieties of sakura trees. Over 20 of them are early bloomers whose flowers debut in early March. Another 10-odd bloom in late-April or May and the rest in between.