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Eating cherry with nice blossom

Question

Asked by: Hannah  from Reading, 12-Nov-2020

I wondered if you know if any cherry varieties which have edible cherries but also are ornamental (in that they have impressive blossom and pretty coloured autumn leaves)?

Answer

We often get asked by customers for a sweet cherry with nice blossom.

Some flowering cherries will occasionally produce a small crop of cherries - but they have a sour taste and are not really edible.

All sweet cherry varieties are in the species Prunus avium, and small plain single flowers seem to be a key characteristic of this species.  The blossom does look nice - but certainly can't compete with the intensity of colour you find in flowering cherries, many of which have double or semi-double flowers.

Fruiting cherries also don't have the interesting forms of some of the ornamental cherries, and in autumn the leaves mostly stay green and fall off the tree, whereas some ornamental ones have red and orange autumnal leaf colours.