Reopening

We are pleased to announce the reopening of the Arboretum de Versailles-Chèvreloup on monday March the 1st.

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La prairie des cerisiers japonais en avril © MNHN - S. Gerbault

Japanese cherry trees

In the horticultural zone, north-east of the pond, a meadow is home to a collection of Japanese cherry trees.

Floraisons

Japanese cherry trees catch the eye in April thanks to their magnificent blossom, ranging in colour from white to bright pink, and made up of large flowers, in single or double form.

Floraison d'un cerisier japonais, Prunus 'Shirofugen', en avril © MNHN - S. Gerbault
Floraison d'un cerisier japonais, Prunus 'Shirofugen', en avril © MNHN - S. Gerbault

These trees are very diverse in terms of silhouettes: the habit can be fastigiate (Prunus ‘Amanogawa’), spherical (Prunus ‘Kanzan’), spread out (Prunus ‘Shirofugen’) or weeping (Prunus ‘Kiku-shidare-zakura’). This collection of cherry trees displays incredible beauty again in autumn, when their leaves, with their varied serrations, characteristics of the species and varieties, take on flamboyant colours, with shades of yellow, red and orange.
 
Prized for more than a thousand years in the Far East for their blossom, cherry trees have been cultivated, selected and traded by humans, meaning that the boundaries of the wild species of Asia and their areas of origin have been blurred.
 
Today it is impossible to trace the genealogy of most cultivated varieties because they are the result of centuries of successive hybridisations from East Asian species, the main one being Prunus serrulata (Eastern China, Korea, Japan). This homogeneous set of hybrid cultivars that can no longer be assigned to a specific species are now grouped under the name of Prunus Sato Zakura Group, inspired by the traditional Japanese name for cherry blossoms.

La prairie des cerisiers japonais en avril © MNHN - S. Gerbault
La prairie des cerisiers japonais en octobre © MNHN - S.Gerbault
La prairie des cerisiers japonais en octobre © MNHN - S.Gerbault