Somei-Yoshino [染井吉野(ソメイヨイノ)]

Somei-Yoshino[染井吉野(ソメイヨイノ)](The scientific name: Cerasus × yedoensis) is a representative species of Sakura. It is the most famous and the most planted Sakura.


Japanese people love these blossoms. Because they have well-balanced proportion and grace color. In addition, the blooming period of Somei-Yoshino is very short. We feel frail beauty in this point.

Tunnel of Somei-Yoshino of way to the Satomi Park
Tunnel of Somei-Yoshino of way to the Satomi Park at Ichikawa, Chiba

Somei-Yoshino was created by crossbreeding Ōshima-zakura[大島桜(オオシマザクラ)] and a kind of Edo-Higan[江戸彼岸(エドヒガン)] by a gardener who lived in Somei[染井] Village, Edo(Present Toshima[豊島(としま)] City, Tokyo) in the later Edo Period. And he sold it under the name of Yoshino-zakura[吉野桜(よしのざくら)].

Yoshino is a mountain located in Nara and is a famous Sakura spot. But the many of Sakuras in Yoshino are Yama-zakura[ヤマザクラ]. Therefore, its name was changed to "Somei-Yoshino" not to confuse them in 1900.

Somei-Yoshino at Ushijima Shrine
At Ushijima Shrine, Sumida, Tokyo

Somei-Yoshino at Sumida Park
At Sumida Park, Sumida

Pure Somei-Yoshino is not able to multiple by its own seeds. Because all pure Somei-Yoshinos are clones of one tree and it has become clear that they have the same DNA by the research. Therefore, they have no ability to multiple due to the self-incompatibility(But Somei-Yoshino is able to other species or non-pure one.) and they are reproduced by grafting or cuttage.

Somei-Yoshino at Akasaka
At Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo

Somei-Yoshino at Chidorigafuchi
At Chidorigafuchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo

It is said that the life span of Somei-Yoshino is shorter than other species of Sakura and it is weak against diseases.

There is a proverb,"Sakura kiru baka, Ume kiranu baka[桜切る馬鹿、梅切らぬ馬鹿]". It means that the fools who cut cherry trees, the fools who don't cut plum trees. If you cut a branch of Sakura, it gets sick. And if you don't cut branches of plum tree, its branches glow excessively. Because of that, it doesn't bloom well.

The blooming term of Somei-Yoshino is short and that is about two weeks. The period of full blossom is only about three days.

But Japan is a very long country from north to south and has many mountainous areas. Therefore, you can enjoy viewing the blossoms during late March to early May in Japan.

Somei-Yoshino at Guhō-ji Temple
At Guhō-ji Temple, Ichikawa

Somei-Yoshino with Nanohana along the Mama River
Somei-Yoshino with Nanohana along the Mama River at Ichikawa

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