The Cherry Blossom

Taihaku Cherry Blossom

The Cherry Orchard at The Alnwick Garden has the largest collection of ‘Taihaku’ in the world. Comprising of 329 trees, they all bloom together for up to two weeks around the end of April/beginning of May.

In 1926 Captain Collingwood Ingram (“Cherry” Ingram) was invited to Japan to give a lecture to the Sakurakai (cherry society).  Whilst there he was shown a picture in an 18th Century book of a large, white cherry blossom that had become extinct.  He recognised the same blossom on a cherry tree which had been imported to a Sussex garden in 1899 and was able to take cuttings from it and reintroduce the lost Taihaku to Japan in 1932.

All of the Taihaku in cultivation today are off-spring of that cherry tree in Sussex.

The Taihaku Cherry Blossom is known as the ‘Great White’ for its snow like clusters of 7cm long blooms.

In autumn the Taihaku leaves turn a beautiful coppery colour.

In Japan, cherry blossom has a deep cultural significance and represents the exquisite beauty and also the fragility of life.

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