Sakura - a symbol of Japan


Sakura - cherry decorative family Pink. The inflorescences of trees are also called Sakura. It can be found in the mountainous regions of Japan, in temple and city parks, along the banks of rivers. There are about 400 varieties and 16 species of this tree. Beautiful sakura grows in different sizes and shapes. It blooms in spring, flowers are painted from bright pink to white. The flowering period lasts no more than a week every year. The fruit is a black drupe, about 10 mm in diameter.

Sakura's Story

Sakura - It is a garden, collective name of the forms, which were derived on the basis of the ever-Asian species, with double pink flowers.

  • Sakura usually refer to the serrate or spicy serrated cherries. A tree in nature grows up to 25 m. In autumn, large leaves turn purple, almost brown. Flowers of 7-9 pieces in a cyst and a length of about 5 cm.
  • Sakhalin cherry, another view from the Far East, is very similar to spicy serrated cherry. Its representatives spread widely on Sakhalin, in the Primorsky Territory, the islands of the Sea of ​​Japan. Trees in nature up to eight meters with a reddish trunk and large dark leaves that look like cherry leaves. Large pink flowers are blooming, up to 4 cm in diameter.
  • Short-bristled cherry is the third species belonging to the ancestors of the tree. It is up to 10 meters high, with umbrella-shaped, lush tassels of purple flowers.

Modern sakura is created on the basis of the crossing of species and the attraction of the cherry Jedoenzis, Lannesian, Initsiza.

Cultural significance

Sakura is a famous symbol of Japanese culture and Japan as a whole. - The Japanese have long since worshiped this plant. Almost the entire population of Japan lives in a strip of fertile plains and grows rice. If the sakura blooms, it means that the earth has warmed up and you can plant rice. For the peasants of Japan, it was considered a symbol of well-being. The samurai had a special relationship with the tree, they considered it a symbol of endurance and purity.

The tradition of admiring sakura appeared in the Heian era. Aristocrats admired for flowering and thought about transience and the meaning of life, about purity. As the ancient chronicle of Nihon shoki states, sakura was first admired in the third century BC. Other data say that in popularity it overtook the plum and became a symbol of the nation only in the ninth century, under the emperor Saga, in the Heian era. This was the result of the merging of two trends.

  • The Japanese actively borrowed cultural values ​​from China from the Nara era, such as writing, arts, Buddhism and aesthetic criteria. The refined and enlightened Chinese believed that the plum flowers were beautiful, which means that the aristocracy and the imperial house were of the same opinion - they sat in the plum orchards, entertained themselves with food and drinks, flirtation, poetic tournaments and parlor games were played. But over time, while the country developed and tightened up its cultural level, national self-consciousness awoke and demanded something unique, its own, local.
  • On the other hand acted sakura. In religion, the gods kami inhabited every blade of grass and pebble, the cherry tree was no exception. Tree spirits were responsible for the entire harvest, and sakura blossoms gave the signal for planting rice.

At the time of the Tokugawa, sakura was planted almost everywhere in Japan to reinforce the tradition of admiring wood. At that time, she with her flowers became a symbol of busi. In the Meiji era with Europeanization and reform, they began to cut down the sakura. But then, self-consciousness, as far as saturating all the Westerners, reached for the roots, after which admiring the tree became a favorite holiday in Japan. The financial and academic year, their beginning, coincides with the flowering of sakura, it falls on the first of April. From the time of the Meiji to the present, Sakura on headdresses, emblems and shoulder straps indicates the rank of the military and students. Now used on the arms of the armed forces and the police of Japan. The tree is a symbol of female beauty and youth.

March 27, 1992 introduced the Sakura Blossom Holiday Public organization "Japanese Sakura Society". The holiday took place in many areas of Japan, its implementation depends on flowering. As soon as the trees are dressed in pink flowers, Japan is going to parks in couples, families and teams.

Cherry blossoms

Spring, in Japanese haaru, the time of sakura blossom, with which the most beautiful holiday of the country of the rising sun is connected. From March to early April, the country is transformed completely, a lot of trees bloom with pink and white flowers, because of which it seems that they are covered with snow flakes or shrouded in clouds.

In the parks, gardens, alleys, near temples and palaces every year a lot of people gather to admire a fascinating and truly beautiful sight. The custom is called "hanami"This means "viewing colors." The tradition arose at the imperial court in the seventh century under the rule of the Tang dynasty. During the times of the emperor Saga, they began to spend holidays where participants feasted, admired flowers and sang their beauty in poems and verses. This custom originally spread to the elite and the court of the emperor, then became popular among samurai, and then among the common people.

It is believed that the most beautiful trees grow in the ancient capitals of Nara, Kamakura and Kyoto. It is a pity that the flowering of the tree is very short-lived. There is enough rain and a gust of wind so that the flowers quickly fall to the ground, before they have enough time to blossom. Sakura in Buddhism is a symbol of the impermanence of being and frailty, in poetry it is associated with love and bygone youth.

The tradition of admiring sakura is universal in Japan. Every year, the media and meteorological agencies clearly monitor the beginning of the flowering season and be sure to report this as an event of national importance. The flowering season officially opens in Tokyo in Shinjuku Central Park, where the imperial cheat appears. On a holiday all known public and political figures gather.

In Tokyo, before the beginning of flowering, a headquarters of 50 special people is created. This headquarters is located in the office and constantly receives information about flowering from the public. Connoisseurs of beauty come together from all over the world to enjoy the holiday when the country is immersed in pale pink flowers. Picnics are gathered not only during the day, but also at night, because in the dark time the sakura is very beautiful. Hanami at night is called "Josakura", which translates as "night sakura." A week later, a little more, the flowers fly around and remind everyone that youth and beauty are not eternal.

The use of wood in ordinary life

Do fruits from sour wine or added while cooking in rice. Petals and leaves are also used - they are salted, then the leaves are used as a wrapper for the preparation of sweets "Sakura-mochi", and the petals turn into an odorous seasoning. They are often dipped in green tea or boiling water during the holidays, because when they come into contact with hot water, the petals open and delight everyone with their appearance.

Experts believe that Sakura is an ideal tree for bonsai. It grows slowly, so buying a plant in the store, you should not be afraid that after two years you will have to transplant it outside, and the growth of the tree is held back by constant pruning of roots and new shoots.

The plant can be purchased at special stores. Little Sakura looks like an adult tree, only in a reduced size. If you are going to create bonsai, then remember that the plant is alive and it should be given enough attention and time, because with the wrong approach it will die.

Tree description

Sakura is the name of the trees of the pink family, the subfamily of plum trees (the species is small-cherries), most of which perform a purely decorative function: they bloom but do not bear fruit (unlike other trees of its species, the Japanese sakura are grown not for the sake of berries, but flowers). There are 16 types of sakura and more than 400 varieties of it.

Despite the fact that sakura trees can be found mainly in the southern northern hemisphere: in China, Korea, in the Himalayas, most of the trees of this species grow in Japan: nine out of sixteen species and a considerable number of varieties. There is a lot of somayoshino (white sakura with huge flowers) and shidarezakura (weeping willow) - this color of sakura has a pink tint.

Sakura grows very well next to other plants of its kind, which, depending on how they were planted, make a different impression. For example, tree branches planted in parallel rows at the top can intertwine with each other, forming a flowering arch overhead - this looks especially chic if at this time the flowers have already started to fall off gradually and a person steps on the carpet that created sakura petals.

The height of the plant depends on its age, but is usually about 8 meters (but there are also tall trees, for example, one of the oldest cherry trees in the world, whose age is 1,800 years old, has about 24 meters height).

The bark is smooth, cut across the entire surface of the tree with small horizontal cracks of gray, green or red hue, and the wood of the tree is very flexible due to the high amount of resin in it.

The leaves are oval or spear-shaped with slightly serrated edges. When a branch of sakura blooms, it is completely covered with flowers of mostly white or pink color, with each inflorescence consisting of several double flowers, usually 5 petals. The Japanese managed to bring the species, the flowers of which contain about 50 petals, whose diameter is about 50-60 mm - outwardly they even resemble roses, peonies, chrysanthemums.

Sakura petals can be of different colors: white sakura and pink are often found, but you can often see flowers of red, crimson, yellow, and even green and colorful tones. Since the sakura flowers bloom before the sakura leaves appear on the tree, it seems that a huge number of delicate inflorescenes clung to the dead and bare trunk (therefore, the flowering period in Japan is also associated with rebirth).

When the sakura's petals start to fade, but they have not fallen from the tree yet, and the sakura branch grows over the first leaves, the plant looks extremely elegant and summer-like (the Japanese call it Ha-Dzakura, which means “sakura with leaves”).

Few trees of this type bear fruit, and even if they give a crop, the fruits of sakura (sakurambo) are usually very small, cherry-colored, have a large bone, tightly covered with fine flesh, the taste is very sour and tart. They are sold in small boxes and they are extremely expensive.

Flowering time

Sakura bloom begins in January on about. Okinawa (located in the south) and ends on about. Hokkaido, moving thus to the north. The period when this tree blooms depends largely on its species: some plants begin to bloom in winter, others - in late spring. For example, such famous species as:

  • Fuy-Dzakura - blooms in the last month of autumn,
  • Yama-dzarkura - an early plant, blooms at the end of March,
  • Someyoshino - in early April,
  • Yae-Dzakura - in the middle of spring,
  • Kasumi-dzakura - in early May.

When the flower is fully revealed, it stays that way for about a week. How long it will bloom depends largely on the weather and temperature - the colder it is, the longer it will be possible to contemplate the flowers of the sakura. But strong winds and rain, on the contrary, the flowering of sakura significantly reduced.

Hanami Holiday

Sakura blooms in Japan are celebrated at the state level: the official discovery by the Hanami (Contemplation of Flowers) takes place in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Park, with not only famous politicians but also members of the imperial family taking part in it.

During this period, numerous gardens, parks, squares and other places where a cherry tree blooms, are visited by a huge number of people, inspection is especially popular in the evening, when a sprig of sakura is very beautifully illuminated. Contemplating, people arrange picnics, rest, and often use the holiday of Hanami for their own personal interests - they negotiate, strengthen contacts, make new acquaintances.

The use of wood in everyday life

The Japanese make sour wine from the fruit of this plant or add it to rice while cooking. The leaves and petals have also been used - they are salted, after which the leaves are used as an edible casing for the Sakura-Mochi sweets made from rice, and the sakura petals cope well with the role of odorous seasoning. During the holidays, they are often dipped in boiling water or green tea, in contact with hot water, the sakura petals open and delight guests with their views.

Experts consider sakura to be an ideal tree for bonsai - it grows slowly, so when you buy a young plant, you don’t have to fear that after a year or two it will have to be transplanted outside, especially since the vertical growth of the tree will be restrained by constantly pruning new shoots and cutting the roots.

You can buy such a plant in special stores. A small flowering cherry blossom looks the same as a more mature tree, only the diameter of its blossoms does not exceed one centimeter (usually pink). When creating bonsai, it is necessary to remember that the plant is a small, but alive, and not a stone, insensitive toy, and therefore, if it is not given enough attention or the wrong approach is taken, it may die.

Tableware for bonsai should be shallow, and its diameter should be 15 to 20 cm. Bonsai sakura prefers to grow on well-fertilized soil. Organic fertilizers should be applied to the soil a month before planting, nitrogen - simultaneously with planting, potassium and phosphorus, which promote the circulation of useful substances in the plant - in summer. If the soil is poorly fertilized, the amount of humus should be from 8 to 12 g / dm3, and in medium fertilized it should be about five.

Japanese sakura loves good lighting, and therefore must be in a bright place (if it stands in the shade, there is a risk of powdery mildew). When looking for a place for a plant, one should take into account that it does not like drafts very much.

Water a bonsai tree once a day (half a glass of water), in the winter - less often. A small plant is transplanted annually, while cutting off 1/3 of the rhizomes (the branches are also possible, but not to get involved, because the sakura does not like it). When caterpillars, woodlice, red mites, bark beetles and aphids are found in the ground, they must be immediately destroyed by insecticides, otherwise they will very quickly destroy the plant.

general description

Sakura is called at once 16 species and 400 species of trees belonging to the subfamily plum. For example, this is the name of the small-crested bird-cherry, which was also grown on the territory of Russia: it lacked frost resistance in St. Petersburg, but it successfully wintered in Rostov-on-Don, Pyatigorsk and the Black Sea coast.

Of the total species diversity in Japan, nine grow. All of them are approximately eight meters in height, although the oldest representative, who has lived for 1800 years, has reached 24 meters in length. By itself, the bark of trees is smooth, wood is flexible due to the large amount of resin, but on its surface there are small horizontal cracks of gray-green or dark red color.

Since there are many sakura species, they all bloom at different times:

  • Fuy in November
  • Pit at the end of March,
  • Someyoshino in early April
  • Yae in mid-April,
  • Kasumi in early May.

First, the trees of the southern island of Okinawa are covered with petals, the last flowers appear in northern Hokkaido. Flowering begins before the appearance of the leaves, and the bare tree is completely covered with double-leaved terry buds. Usually there are 5 of them, but specially bred varieties have up to 50 petals with a diameter of 6 cm. Through selection, we managed to get flowers similar to roses, peonies or chrysanthemums.

Shades of petals can be very diverse. Common are the white variety with huge flowers and a tree, called a weeping willow, whose flowers have a pink hue. But besides the traditional white and pink flowers, Sakura blooms with red, crimson, yellow or green petals. They are fully disclosed and remain so during the week. If cool weather keeps at this time, the petals live for about 10 days, but if strong winds and rains blow at the same time, the inflorescences will fall on the fifth day.

When the petals are already beginning to fade, oval leaves with jagged edges begin to appear on the branches. During this period, the tree is called Ha-Dzakura, which literally means "sakura with leaves." At this time, she looks elegant and beautiful in summer.

The sakura plant is grown for flowers, not berries, so all representatives have only a decorative value, their fruits are very small, and more often they are not at all. Nevertheless, it is possible to find on sale small boxes with small berries of fruit-bearing trees that have a large stone and a thin layer of cherry-colored flesh. Their taste is sour and tart, and the cost is incredibly high.

Value in Japanese culture

Japanese tree Sakura is of particular importance for the country. Изображения лепестков вишнёвого цвета, который символизирует небо в Японии, можно встретить на многих предметах обихода: от посуды и канцелярии до традиционных кимоно.

Сакуре посвящают песни, используют её образ в кинематографе, аниме, произведениях искусства. Her image - the most popular of Japanese tattoos, can be depicted on its own or in combination with other traditional motifs - dragons, tigers, carps.

Respect for the flowering tree is inextricably linked with the history of Japan, starting with the legends and ending with the use of symbolism and traditions.

Famous legends

Description of sakura tree is in the old Japanese legend. According to her, the god of the mountains decided to give one of his daughters to his wife the grandson of the sun goddess, who was considered the ancestor of the Japanese emperors. A young man named Ninigi had to choose between the eldest daughter High Rock and the youngest, called Blossoming. If he chose the elder, the life of his descendants would be eternal and durable, like stones. But he preferred the younger one, as a result of which the life of his children became short, but beautiful.

Another legend about the Japanese tree is more sad. According to him, Sakura was the name of a single employee of a cruel prince of a certain Japanese province. A man and his children spent every day doing hard work in the rice fields, not getting anything in return. Moreover, the slightest offense was punished in the most cruel way. The worker was tired of living in constant fear for the children and asked the emperor for intercession.

The ruler heeded the requests and punished the evil prince, but he decided to take revenge on Sakura. The servants of the prince, on his orders, seized the man along with his entire family, tied them to a cherry and ruined them to death. It is believed that since then, Sakura began to bloom annually with pink flowers in memory of innocent blood sprinkled on it.

Use in symbolism

Sakura blooms very quickly. Only the first petals have appeared, and now they are beginning to crumble. It reminds the Japanese of the frailty of being, the transience of life, the fragility of the beautiful. However, at the same time, the tree represents rebirth, because the flowers appear on the bare leafless branches of a dead tree. In addition, the flowering time coincides with the beginning of the planting of rice, so the plant is also considered a harvest symbol.

The sakura was chosen by the officers and militarist communities as their symbol. The appearance of the tree was supposed to strengthen the spirit of the soldiers and inspire them to feats. Sometimes the sakura petals were even called the flowers of death, because the pilots took them with them or put their image on the fuselage, going on death missions. Thus, the plant symbolized the fragility of life sacrificed by young recruits for the emperor. It was even believed that soldiers who fell in battle were reborn as flowers in the next life.

The use of such symbolism in military affairs is a long tradition. It originated from the time when the Japanese planted sakura in the territory of the colonies, thereby demonstrating claims to it. Then, in honor of the tree, one of the kamikaze groups was named, now the image of flowers is used in the heraldry of the Japanese armed forces. For example, insignia on epaulets may have the appearance of not a star, but a flower with five petals.

Hanami tradition

The great importance attached by the Japanese to the tree can be judged by the fact that in honor of its flowering a real holiday is held at the state level. It has a long history dating back to the third century AD.

At that time, in the imperial court they liked to arrange parlor games, enjoy drinks, spend time writing poems during the flowering of cherry and plum trees. Plum at the time received even more attention. There were two reasons for this:

  • she bloomed earlier
  • plum was imported from China.

A special attitude to the subjects of Chinese culture was associated with a respectful attitude to the traditions of this country.. Educated people admired her and tenderly treated all the characters. But by the end of the 9th century, Japanese society began to strive for identity, the influence of Chinese culture was weakened, and the Sakura could act as an excellent national symbol. Gradually, the Hanami began to devote more and more to this tree.

If earlier only elite societies paid attention to the contemplation of Sakura, then samurai joined them, and now on this day in Tokyo, the main park of Shinjukugöen is open to numerous visitors of different social status. The Japanese come to relax, have a picnic, meet friends and relatives, meet new people, or even hold a business meeting, contemplating with all this flowering cherry trees of amazing beauty.

This day becomes special not only for holidaymakers, but also for those whom he found while working. Even employees spend working hours in the park, having the opportunity to communicate with colleagues and superiors and strengthen relationships in the team.

This happens not only in Tokyo, but also in numerous parks, squares and gardens of various Japanese cities. Especially beautiful is the spectacle in the evening, because the branches of flowering trees are beautifully highlighted.

Meteorologists help to pay tribute to the tradition and not to miss the holiday. Every spring, they give a forecast of the time of flowering in the coming year, so that people can prepare for the Khans and plan a vacation.

Wood application

The Japanese do not just admire the national symbol, they have found the use of each of the parts of the sakura. For example, it has its place in cooking:

  • Sour berries of some species of sakura are not very suitable for direct consumption. But then they make a great wine or gas station for rice beloved in Japan.
  • The leaves and petals of the plant are salted, then the former are used as an edible shell of rice sweets, and the latter play the role of fragrant seasoning.
  • A plucked flower, dipped in green tea, blossoms beautifully from contact with hot water. This effect is often used on holidays.

But still, the basic meaning of a tree is decorative. On the street you can plant together several species of sakura. Most often this is exactly what they are doing, because she is well accustomed to her own kind. If the shoots are arranged in parallel rows, growing, they will interweave the upper branches between themselves and form an arch, and the rapidly falling flowers will create a semblance of a carpet of petals under their feet.

However, Japanese Sakura cannot grow everywhere; it needs a certain climate. If the changeable weather outside the window does not allow you to grow this type of tree in the garden, you can buy it in a special store and plant an exact copy of the sakura in a miniature bonsai at home. The home tree will be exactly the same as its prototype, but proportionally reduced. His pink flowers will have a diameter of only a centimeter.

A young plant is drawn up slowly, and this process will be slowed down by the need to prune roots and new shoots. Caring for a home tree should be serious. You need to choose the right pot of small depth and 15−20 cm diameter. The plant should be trimmed to a third of the rhizome each year, while it is better to replant it. Fertilizers should be added to the soil regularly, and it is better to add organic ingredients a month before planting the sakura.

During planting, it is recommended to add nitrogen to the ground, and in the summer to regularly add potassium and phosphorus, which will ensure the normal circulation of nutrients. You also need to ensure that the amount of humus in poorly-fertilized soil was at the level of 8−12 grams per cubic decimeter. If there is enough fertilizer, you can limit yourself to 5 grams of humus. And still in the ground can get unpleasant insects - caterpillars, woodlice or bark beetles. If this happens, it is necessary to treat the soil with insecticides as soon as possible. Otherwise, the plant may die.

As for watering, a tree needs 100 ml of water per day in summer. In winter you can water less often. Sakura should be located in a well-lit place. Constant stay in the shade will lead to the emergence of diseases such as powdery mildew. Putting the plant on the window on the sunny side, it is worth remembering that it does not tolerate drafts.

Thus, the blooming sakura of magical beauty can be admired not only in the places of its natural growth, but also at home. Of course, the last option requires proper maintenance, but the tree is worth it. Watching each spring for delicate blooming flowers, you can recall the old Japanese tradition and spend some time contemplating, think about the meaning of human life and, perhaps, understand yourself better.

Hanami: Sakura tree during flowering (with photos and video)

Surely everyone has heard that the Japanese call the Hanami flower admiration, but the Japanese didn’t immediately admire the sakura. According to legend, in the years 710-790, the main attention of the inhabitants of Japan was laid on the ume plum trees imported from China. The flowering of this tree caused delight and affection, if someone in the yard grew such a plant, then it was considered an indicator of prosperity. But from 800 years the ruling emperor decided to immortalize a cherry tree, which grew on the islands of Japan. So, the Japanese decided to acquire national identity, rather than follow Chinese culture. To encourage the Hanami, Tokugawa Yoshimune began planting sakura. Soon the Japanese noticed how beautiful in the spring their native tree becomes when the blossomed flowers acquire an unusual color from bright pink to white.

From that moment on, the word “flowers” ​​in Japan meant cherry blossom. They soon became a favorite storyline for artists and a favorite word for poets. It was even believed that the pollen from the flowers of Japanese cherry, which falls into sake, gives the person who drank it strength, courage and health.

How the sakura flowers look can be seen in the photo:

Today, the Japanese do not cease to worship their sacred tree. Boutiques, shopping centers and grocery stores are decorated with plastic flowers of Japanese cherry. During the flowering season, special foods and drinks appear on the shelves, for example, “Sakura cha” and “Sakura Mochi”. The first is tea, in which lightly salted sakura petals are added, and the second is rice cakes from sweet sakura fruits. In addition, in the spring you can buy a special box for a picnic “hanami bento” which contains all kinds of snacks, desserts and drinks to celebrate Hanami.

The celebration itself proceeds in a very interesting way. The fact is that high technologies in Japan saturate all spheres of human life. Residents of this country work long and hard, constantly in a hurry somewhere and rarely enjoy life. Only the flowers of Japanese cherry blossoms make people stand still for a moment and enjoy this extraordinary spectacle. April for the Japanese, after the annual reports - a breath of fresh air.

One of the most famous Hanami was held in 1598. After the commander, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, gained control over the whole territory of Japan, he decided to celebrate it by gathering 1,300 people near Daigo temple. This event has been described many times in poems and theater productions. A little later, in 1650-1800, new saplings were actively imported into the country to adorn the political center - the city of Edo. At this time, new varieties of Japanese cherry blossoms are introduced, and Hanami is gradually becoming a Japanese tradition.

Modern tradition allows Japanese people to admire sakura not only in the daytime, but also in the evening. Radio, television and social networks broadcast the start of flowering throughout the country so that people do not miss the celebration. The official countdown of the beginning of the Hanami is the blooming of the first flowers on a tree that grows in the Yasukuni temple located in Tokyo.

In many regions of Japan, entire festivals are held. Parks are decorated with paper lanterns, merchants with sweets, children's toys and Japanese traditional dishes appear on the streets, and tea ceremonies are held under the trees. When the sun goes down, the lights turn on in the parks and on the streets, which is why the bloom acquires a fabulous look.

Sakura tree blossoms can be seen by watching the video below:

Parks of Japan, where grows Sakura

Spring does not come to Japan when buds begin to open, but when the streets look like a lush garden of delicate pink-white flowers. Since the end of March, a wave of Japanese cherry blossoms covers the south of Kyushu, in April covers the capital Tokyo, and in May reaches Hokkaido. Therefore, the question: “Where does Sakura grow?” Is answered in Japan: “Everywhere.” The greatest accumulation of these trees is observed in the parks of Shinjuku-Goen, Wen and Mitsuike. There are more than 1000 seedlings. Over 100 trees can be seen in Tokyo’s Kitanomaru and Sumida Park, as well as near the historical Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji temples in Kyoto. It also grows in the Sankey-en Landscape Park, the Osaka Mint, the Danzakura Alley, and many other places in all the islands of Japan.

Cherry blossoms especially beautifully around castles and shrines. An amazing sight is obtained if the trees are illuminated.

Check out the pretty photos of the magical cherry blossoms in the parks of Japan:

The most famous and visited in Japan at the time of the celebration of Hanami are the three places. First of all, this is a national park in Tokyo. There are about 1500 plants and 75 species of sakura. The festival gathers here hundreds of people who enjoy a picnic under the branches of a beautiful flowering tree. The second most popular place in Tokyo is Ueno’s city park, with an area of ​​over 625 square meters. There are 1,100 wild cherry trees growing here, and the Hanami is held mainly in early April. Sumida Park is the third famous place that is famous for its unique lighting.

In addition, there are many more places where wild sakura grows. For example, the trees in Takato Park are distinguished by their height, many of which are over 100 years old. Hirosaki City gathered in its park 2,600 trees that grow around the majestic ancient castle. In the city of Tsuyama, on the ruins of a Japanese castle among beautiful cherries, various tea ceremonies and music performances are held during the Hanami celebration. The Matsuyami castle in the Hokkaido province of the same name, famous for its pink cherry blossom.

The date of the Hanami season changes every year, so you need to carefully follow the media to attend this holiday.

What does Sakura look like: description and features of Japanese cherry species

Due to its aesthetic beauty, this plant has gained popularity in many European countries. Although Sakura is a Japanese cherry, however, this tree is more and more common on the streets of European countries. The plant is difficult to confuse with any other species, as it has a distinctive feature - an incredible color.

In botany, it belongs to the family Pink. This wild tree grows predominantly in the Himalayas, but is also found in Transcarpathia, Moldova, and Krasnodar Territory. The description of a typical sakura tree depends on the species to which it belongs. Distinguish melkopilchatuyu, short bristle, Sakhalin and ferruginous cherries.

Most varieties belong to the first species; Melklopilchataya cherry grows up to 15 m in height and has larger leaves. In autumn, they are painted in a beautiful purple color and make all passersby admire themselves. The flower of such a tree is rather large in shape - it reaches 5 cm in diameter. The brush usually contains in itself 7-9 flowers of a terry white or pink shade.

Short-bruised cherry usually does not grow more than 10 m, and its inflorescence contains only 2-3 leaves with a diameter of 2 cm. They have a delicate pink color and appear on the tree before the leaves appear.

Sakhalin cherry has the most spreading crown and has a height of up to 12 m. A distinctive feature of this tree is the color of its leaves, which become red in the spring, and acquire a maroon color in the autumn.

The leaves of such sakura can be seen in the photo:

Flowers with a diameter of up to 3 cm are initially light pink, and closer to prolapse they acquire a white saturated color.

Ferruginous cherry is called a shrub having a height of 1-1.5 m. The flowers have a pleasant velvety texture and have both white and pink color.

Any Japanese cherry tree makes with a sinking heart to admire its flowering. It has a huge number of inflorescences of a pleasant delicate color, possessing an unsurpassed aroma.

Look at the photo how Sakura corresponds to its description:

Thermophilic and cold-resistant varieties of Japanese cherry tree

The love of the Japanese for their symbol made it possible to admire more than one sort of cherry. Very often, many are attributed to sakura certain types of peaches, bird cherry, sweet cherry and plum, which have long been united in one genus called Prunus. But later it turned out that cherries have a clear difference. Most cherry blossoms are serrata cherries. In total there are four types of trees of wild Sakura, and all modern varieties were created by crossing them.

Probably the most beautiful variety is Kwanzan. It is an erect tree with a funnel-shaped crown. The flower contains many petals of intense purple color (about 30), therefore such a cherry is considered to be an abundantly flowering variety. Это теплолюбивое дерево достигает в высоту не более 10м, а в диаметре бывает до 8 м. Листья достаточно большие и достигают 10 см, имеют зеленый глянцевый окрас. Плоды Кванзан немного меньше обычной вишни, но при этом не менее вкусные. Единственным минусом данного сорта является его недолговечность.

Сорт Кику Шидар часто можно услышать под названием “плакучая вишня”. Высота такой сакуры достигает всего 5 м, а ее диаметр может быть до 4 м. Листья напоминают форму эллипса и имеют зеленый окрас. The branches hang down an arc, and the crown itself is irregular and looks like a funnel. Sakura flowers of this variety grow very densely, settling down along the entire branch to the very bottom. Fruits of such Japanese sakura have small size and light sour taste.

No less famous variety is Shiritai. Oddly enough, the birthplace of this cherry is England. Many attribute it to representatives of a typical village cherry, a typical plant reaches a height of no more than 4 m.

Attracts with its terry saturated white flowers Shir-Fügen variety. Its height reaches 10 m, and the color of the inflorescences gradually acquires a delicate pink shade.

Gentle white color is also characteristic of the Tau Haku variety, which was discovered in England only at the end of the 20th century.

In the photo you can see the white color of the plant Sakura:

The very beautiful color of the flower has the Kikishidare tree, which grows to a height of 5 m. But its main disadvantage is the inability to withstand frost.

No less popular is the Amanogawa variety, which is not similar to other varieties of sakura. The fact is that this tree reaches 8 m in height, but at the same time its width is only about 1 m. The flowers have a divine scent and cover branches very densely.

A very unusual variety is Khali Tolivet, which has a spherical crown. The diameter of pink inflorescences it reaches 4 cm.

To frost - include the following varieties of Japanese Sakura:


Kiku Shidar.

Hali Tolivet.

Each variety is beautiful in its own way; the flowering of these trees can be admired for hours, inhaling their divine scent.

With all four types of sakura can be found in the photo and see how they correspond to their names:

Sakura-no-mi or sakurambo: Sakura plant fruits and their photos

In addition to the beautiful pink flowering and stunning colors that can flow sakura leaves, it has quite tasty fruits. Although many still consider Japanese cherry as an exclusively ornamental plant. In addition to aesthetic pleasure, this tree gives small, but quite tasty berries.

Fruits of Japanese Sakura are called Sakura-no-mi. Due to the fact that the berries do not have enough sweet taste, most often they are eaten together with marinade. Not less tasty is the wine from the fruit of Japanese cherry. In addition, they are often added as a seasoning to rice.

Sakura fruits are clearly visible in the photo:

There is another name - sakurambo, but this plant has nothing to do with the Japanese symbol, it is rather a commercial move. The trick is that enterprising people brought varieties of ordinary cherries to Japan, which are exported as true berries of Japanese cherry.

However, other parts of the cherry tree are also used in food. Very often, Japanese sweets are wrapped in the leaves of a real sakura tree. In addition, there are fans of pickled leaves, their salty-sweet or sour taste goes well with rice.

What sakura tree to plant in the yard?

To date, everyone can independently choose which tree of Japanese cherry trees to plant in the yard. This plant is gaining more and more popularity every year, and therefore there will be no problems with its purchase. But depending on weather conditions, it is better to give preference to frost-resistant varieties.

Reproduction of Japanese cherry most often occurs by seeds. The best time of year for planting will be summer, when it is warm enough outside, but not too hot. For this reason, some people plant sakura in early autumn or late spring. It is very important that a place with optimum sunlight is chosen for the tree and it does not get burned. Such a place should also be protected from strong winds. Loamy soil is ideal as a primer. If the soil is heavy, it is necessary to bring in a baking powder, for example, to treat with manure, to make sand or compost.

Japanese cherries can be propagated by seedlings, but for this you need to pay attention to some factors:

  • The northern islands of Japan, for example, Hokkaido, are the birthplace of the plant.
  • it is better to choose two-year saplings from 1 m in height,
  • buying seedlings more prudently after the summer, when they no longer have leaves.

To understand what kinds of Japanese cherry blossoms are suitable for the region in which it is planned to plant it, it is enough to carefully study the catalogs of nurseries. Most likely, it will be Sakhalin and melkopilchataya cherry. It is best to focus on the Amanogava and Kansan varieties, if it comes to small-cherries, buy Autumnalis, which belongs to short-bristled cherries or choose the varieties Alkolade, Edwin Muller or Vul Murasaki, if you want something of the Sakhalin cherry type. It is the last variety that is not afraid of big frosts and has a fairly early flowering. A big advantage of it is also disease resistance. It is better to decide on the preferred types of Japanese cherry blossoms when to see live how the cherry blossoms looks. To do this, visit the nurseries.

Sakura Care

Sakura does not require any special care, but it is necessary to trim the branches more carefully. For example, young trees need only sanitary pruning.

The best prevention of cumulative is:

  • top dressing - it is produced with organic or mineral fertilizers, as well as through the use of manure, humus, phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen,
  • watering - it should be abundant only in the period of the ovary,
  • timely spraying from diseases, during flowering processing is prohibited,
  • to tie up the staffs and cover the trunk with agrofiber before the onset of frost.

Some of the Japanese national sakura trees are also grown to pick fruits, but basically this tree is a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature. Unfortunately, this tree blooms only once a year for no more than 10 days. For the sake of this spectacle, many tourists are ready to come to Japan, and there are people who are ready to do many things to plant sakura near their home and indulge themselves every morning with the unsurpassed look of its white and pink color.

Look at the photo, how great is the garden during the flowering of Japanese cherry blossoms:

What is it and where is growing?

Sakura belongs to the Pink family and is actually a decorative cherry. Under natural conditions, a tree can reach 20 meters in height, but usually its height does not exceed 8 meters. You can find it on the smooth bark, which is covered with horizontal cracks of gray-green color and jagged oval leaves.

The main distinctive feature of Sakura is bright flowers, having a white or pink shade. But you can find yellow, red and green flowers. There are many different types of Japanese cherry, and therefore among them you can find varieties with inflorescences, which consist of 5, 10 and 40 petals. Breeders were able to bring trees whose flowers look like peonies and chrysanthemums.

The fruits of this culture have a rounded shape and bright red color. They differ in a large bone and a small amount of pulp, besides cherries have a sour taste. In their raw form they are not consumed, but used to make marinade or wine.

Japanese cherry is considered a symbol of Japan, since it grows mainly on the fertile plains of this country. According to the bloom of culture, the Japanese determine the time of sowing of rice, and therefore it is associated among residents with well-being and fertility. Due to the unusual appearance of the plant, many great people looked for inspiration, admiring the flowering of sakura.

Sakura grows mainly in Japan, the Korean Peninsula and in some areas of China. You can meet her in the mountainous areas of Sakhalin or the forests of Primorsky Krai. Japanese cherry is not able to withstand great frosts, and therefore almost does not occur in Russia. Only due to the work of breeders can some varieties grow in the northern regions of our country.


There are more than 400 varieties of sakura. Most of the species is used only for decorating the site, but some can bear fruit. Known variety that is able to bring edible cherries.

Distinguish melkopilchatuyu, ferruginous, Sakhalin and short bristling sakura.

  • Ferrous cherry found in China, Korea and Primorsky Krai. The tree grows up to 1.5 meters in height and is used exclusively for decorative purposes. It is quite unpretentious, and therefore is in great demand among summer residents. Some types of glandular cherries produce edible fruits that can be used in cooking.

  • Melkopilchataya Sakura different tall and large leaves. In the autumn period, the crown acquires a bright pink and purple color. This plant blooms with large white and pink flowers, forming inflorescences 15-20 cm in diameter.
  • Short bristle cherry does not differ in big height and on average grows to 8-10 m. The plant blossoms with light pink flowers, forming inflorescences with a diameter of 2.5 cm.

  • Sakhalin Sakura differs sprawling crown and grows above 8 m. The culture is distinguished by bright red leaves, which in the autumn period acquire a rich burgundy shade.

Most varieties belong to the serrate form. Initially, there were only 4 varieties of sakura, from which the breeders subsequently derived many others.

Consider the description of the most popular varieties.

  • Kanzan - is the result of crossing melkopilchataya Sakura and decorative plums. The variety is home to Japan, but it can be found in Korea and China. The shrub grows no higher than 11 m in height and has a trunk diameter of 5.5 m. The wide crown is represented by elliptical green leaves, which become orange in autumn. "Kanzan" blooms in mid-spring with double pink flowers, and in summer it brings harvest in the form of small black cherries that have a bitter taste.
  • "Kiku Shidar" - low-growing shrub, whose height does not exceed 6 meters. The crown is represented by large elliptical leaves of green color. At the onset of autumn, they become yellow. The culture in the middle of spring blossoms with pink dense inflorescences consisting of 3-5 flowers. "Kiku Shidar" is not afraid of frost and can tolerate lowering the temperature to 30 degrees. The variety is resistant to diseases and usually grows on moist, slightly acidic soils.
  • Royal Burgundy - grows up to 10 m in height and is distinguished by a cone-shaped crown. The pointed leaves of a variety have a bright purple hue, in autumn they turn yellow. The plant blooms at the beginning of May with large double flowers of soft pink shade. Fruits "Royal Burgundy" does not bring.
  • "Gum" - is a distant relative of the sea buckthorn and is distinguished by small red cherries that can be eaten. Fruits have a sweet-sour taste and are rich in vitamins, therefore they are often used for making compotes and preserves. The plant itself has a height of 1 m and blooms gray-yellow flowers, exuding a pleasant aroma.

In addition to these varieties, such species as “Fuy-Dzakura”, “Yama-Dzakura”, “Someioshino”, “Yae-Dzakura” and “Kasumi-Dzakura” are very popular. All of them differ in a form and a shade of flowers and leaves, and also have different height.

What is different from cherries or apples?

Despite the fact that Sakura belongs to the Pink family, it has some differences from the cherry. The main feature of the culture is that, unlike the usual cherry, it is designed to decorate landscape design. Most varieties of sakura differ in abundant flowering, but do not bear fruit.

Varieties of Japanese cherries, bearing fruits, are distinguished by a large bone and a bitter taste. Only some hybrids can produce a crop that can be eaten. Such trees are called sakurambo. In this case, the Japanese use as food not only cherries, but also leaves and flowers.

Cherry and apple are very similar during the flowering period, so some people may confuse these two cultures with each other. But the flowering of sakura is different with double pink flowers, forming dense inflorescences. Ornamental apple varieties may have a purple, blood-red or white color of the inflorescences, which consist of more rare flowers. They bring beautiful fruit, different small size and sour-tart taste.

Some facts

  • The Japanese are kind to the sakura, considering it the main property of the country. Often it is used as an inspiration for creating paintings, writing songs and poems, as well as for sketching tattoos.
  • There is a legend according to which the Sun Goddess wanted to marry her grandson with one of the daughters of God Horus. The young man could choose as his wife a daughter, who was called High Rock, or a girl called Blossoming. If he chose the High Rock, his family life would be characterized by durability and strength, but the young man chose Blossom and doomed his descendants to a wonderful, but short fate. Another legend says that Sakura was called by a certain Japanese man who, together with his family, was forced to work for the miserly and cruel prince. Tired of hard life, Sakura turned to the emperor for help. But thanks to the scammers, the prince found out about this and ordered his subordinates to tie the worker and his family to a cherry tree and kill them. That is why every year Sakura blooms with pink flowers, symbolizing the blood of innocently killed.

  • It is also interesting that the Japanese associate the flowering of sakura with the transience of days. In their opinion, it is this incredible sight that should remind people of the fragility of everything beautiful and the cyclical nature of life.
  • Japanese cherry is a symbol of Japanese soldiers. Often, it was used by military pilots as a talisman, who believed that after death they would be reborn as flowers.
  • In the Japanese city of Hotuko there grows sakura, which, according to legend, is more than 2 thousand years old. The tree is considered a national treasure and due to its respectable age it has the name “Sakura of the Age of Gods”.

You will learn about how the sakura grows in the middle lane in the next video.

Sakura fruits and their use

Sakura, as an ornamental plant, does not give valuable fruits, and this is different from ordinary cherries, which is a fruit tree.

Of course, there are fruits and in Japanese they are called sakura-no-mi. They are so small, hard and sour taste that the Japanese use them only in pickled form and for making wine and jam.

The size of the berries is about 8 mm, the skin is smooth, from pinkish to dark red color.

Planting in the garden

Blooming sakura tree

Given the homeland of growth, Sakura is very thermophilic and can die when the outdoor temperature is below -15C. For cultivation in Russia are best suited varieties grown on the northern islands of Japan, where the climate is at least a bit similar to ours.

The recommended planting time for seedlings is spring. If a tree is purchased in the fall, it is best to first pile it on the site to protect it from drying out and freezing, and in the spring, plant it in a permanent place.

The place for this tree is selected quiet, protected from drafts, having a high degree of illumination. The site should be well drained in order to avoid stagnation of water or prepared bulk hill from the soil on which the seedlings are planted.

Sakura loves light, loamy soil of neutral or weak acidity, containing a lot of humus. In heavy soil it is necessary to make any baking powder, for example, sand, compost, vermiculite.

As with the purchase of any planting material, it is necessary to carefully examine the root system so that it has a sufficiently branched form for better survival in a new place. Cut the roots can not, you can only gently straighten their hands.

Best of all are suitable annual trees not more than 1 meter high with mature wood (the color of the bark is reddish).

Tree care

Sakura is more demanding to care than cherry. It needs not only regular watering, but also spraying the foliage, especially in hot summer weather. However, the overabundance of moisture in the ground also does not like - the root system may die.

In the spring, before bud break, it is necessary to make a careful thinning of the tree crowns, removing dry, excess branches. Since Sakura very poorly tolerates the cutting procedure, it is imperative to treat the cut sites with a garden pitch or other antiseptic.

Sakura requires regular spraying with fungicides to prevent the occurrence of fungal infections and damage by pests (such as aphid): first time to process before the bud break, then one month after tying berries.

Read about the Chocolate Chocolate variety here.

The introduction of organic and complex mineral fertilizers has a beneficial effect on the overall development of the plant and its yield, especially the cherry is responsive to potassium and phosphorus. Application rates depend on soil fertility. Nitrogen fertilizers are excluded from autumn dressings. In winter, young trees should be wrapped with some material in order to prevent it from freezing, as well as to protect it from rodents.

How to grow sakura at home, see the following video:

Traditional admiring colors

Hanami Japanese tradition of admiring flowers emerged at the imperial palace, is of great importance for the Land of the Rising Sun. Японцы считают, что любование цветами помогает избавиться от плохих мыслей, расслабиться и предаться вечному. История традиции насчитывает более семнадцати веков.

Но изначально наслаждаться этим чудом природы могли лишь император и аристократы, и лишь позже к ним присоединилась вся знать, самураи, а впоследствии и простые люди. In different eras, it was treated differently: during the Tokugawa era, trees were actively planted throughout the country, so that as many people as possible could get involved in this beautiful spectacle, food was prepared, poems and songs were put together in khanas, plays were made in theaters. But in the Meiji era, Sakura was cut down, because the trees were considered to be a symbol of feudalism, but, fortunately, this did not last long.

Now falling petals are associated with magnificence and transience of life. Lasts Hanami only a week, and this is the time when the Japanese consider it necessary to postpone all their affairs and enjoy the beautiful, but so fleeting phenomenon of nature. Japanese meteorologists are trying to calculate the onset of happy days for the whole country on the weather in winter and forecasts for spring.

The most famous venues of Hanami in Japan

The most famous park in Japan is the metropolitan park Ueno, in which thousands of Japanese and tourists rush every day. But the largest number of sakura trees is observed in Shinjuku Gyoen. The park has about one and a half thousand trees and more than 75 varieties. Here you can see trees covered with not only pale pink flowers, but also yellow, orange, greenish, crimson. Park Kitanomaru —The most beautiful place to watch Sakura in the capital of Japan. Hundreds of trees of delicate sakura adorn the northern part of the imperial palace. In the evening, the soft light from the lanterns hanging throughout the park falls on the trees, and for those who prefer a more romantic atmosphere, there is an opportunity to rent a boat.

The popularity of Sakura covered not only her homeland, but the whole world. The beauty of flowering trees affects the inhabitants of Western Europe and North America, who landed it in their gardens and parks. In 1935, the cherry blossom festival was held in Washington and became its annual tradition. Admire the delicate cherry blossoms can and in Ukraine, in Transcarpathia, and in several cities of Russia: Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Places to observe the blooming cherry blossoms in Moscow

The first cherry blossom in Moscow was planted in 1987, and although the weather conditions in our country are much harsher, the tree took root and became one of the main spring decorations of the city. The exact time of flowering of Sakura is unknown authentically even in its homeland, because it is closely related to weather conditions, but most often the trees are covered with petals, the color of which resembles the sky at sunset, in late April - early May. Not all sakura varieties are able to take root in Russia. Only those that were brought from the North Island of the cherry tree homeland can come up. All connoisseurs of beauty and lovers of peaceful pastime can watch the flowering of sakura in several places at once.

  1. The most popular and perhaps the most beautiful is considered Japanese Garden of the Main Botanical Gardenwhere about 250 plants are planted, however, in the first days, only four dozen blooms can be seen, the other trees bloom a little later. (a photo)
  2. Pharmaceutical garden is the oldest botanical garden in Russia and is located in the center of Moscow. From mid-April to the end of May, amazing beauty is held in it. Spring Festival of Flowers. Among the many flowering plants can be found and sakura, cherry varieties Tishima brought from the slopes of Mount Fuji, as a gift from the delegation from Tokyo. Enjoy the contemplation of flowering trees perhaps a little later than in Japanese garden. (a photo)
  3. AT Biryulevsky Forest Park everyone who wants to absolutely free of charge have the opportunity to enjoy the flowering of about 30 Ezo-Yama trees. The plants were planted recently, in 2010, therefore they are not particularly large in size, but this does not make them less attractive, because their flowering is just as pleasing to the eye as the flowering of older tribesmen.
  4. Catherine Park in the spring it turns into a real oriental garden thanks to inconspicuous throughout the year, but such lush and magnificent trees of the varietyKwanzo You can find them on the left bank Great Catherine's Pond, which is located near the eastern entrance to the park. (a photo)
  5. Much earlier than usual, one can observe the flowering of sakura in other exotic plants in Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno, in which the reconstruction of greenhouses according to ancient drawings was completed not so long ago.
  6. Visitors Darwin Museum can watch the flowering of louisiania, the same decorative sakura. Usually it falls on the beginning of May, but according to experts, this process may be delayed this year due to weather conditions.
  7. And completes the list of the alley near The main building of Moscow State University, On which every spring fifty delightful Tishima varieties bloom, donated by the capital of Japan, Moscow.

How to plant and grow sakura

Often, garden owners who want to decorate their home and inject something special into the landscape, enthusiastically accept the idea of ​​a possible flowering of their own cherry blossoms around the house. Is it possible to plant sakura right around the house?

Naturally, this is not so easy, but possible. It is important to know that not every variety can take root and grow in our weather conditions, endure a harsh winter. Place for landing should be open to the sun, have fertile soil and a lot of humus. It is better to take root hybrid varieties that are able to withstand frost. If sakura seedlings cannot take root, then you should not be upset, because this plant has many competitors that bloom no less beautifully and magnificently.

Analogs of Sakura are:

  1. Kuril cherry.
  2. Cherry Kuril "Rex".
  3. Cherry Kuril "Brilliant".

Sakhalin cherry is the closest in appearance to Japanese flowers.

Sakura is one of the most beautiful wonders of nature. Its flowering branches inspire and pacify the eye, and according to beliefs, pollen increases the strength and health of a person.