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rare flowers

Rare Flowers: Five Cherry Blossoms You Need to Know About!

Devon Lord-Moncrief

Devon Lord-Moncrief

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A bunch of cherry blossoms on a white background one of many rare flowers.

Japan is famous for its gorgeous cherry blossom trees during a time of year known as sakura season. When the season becomes just right, gentle white, pink, and red waves fill the air as petals dance across warm spring air. However, some rare flowers also bloom during this time of year.

People from all over the world travel to witness the blossoming of these beautiful trees. But did you know some cherry blossoms are rare and difficult to find? When visiting Japan to witness this once-a-year spectacle, visit these rarer cherry blossom flowers, making your sakura viewing trip even more special.

Shidarezakura

Shidarezakura, or weeping cherry trees, precisely depict their name. The tree’s long branches hang straight down to the ground, resembling the cherry blossom bending over and weeping. Despite their melancholic name, shidarezakura is not sad but provides a distinctive viewing experience.

Shidarezakura trees, or weeping cherry blossoms, one of many rare flowers.
Shidarezakura are weeping cherry blossoms. Image via Shutterstock

These trees are rare because they are not distinct breeds but because a mutation causes the branches to hang like a weeping willow. Overall, shidarezakura boasts beautiful white, pink, and red petals like typical cherry blossoms.

Kanzan

Kanzan cherry blossoms are another unique cherry blossom that are less common than regular cherry blossom trees. Originally derived from the Oshina cherry tree, kanzan were developed by selective interspecific hybrids from the Oshina cherry blossom. However, the pink petals of the kanzan are not as visible in nature. 

A bunch of kanzan cherry blossoms on a tree.
Kanzan cherry blossoms are hybrids of the Oshina variety. Image via Shutterstock

However, a mutation occurred while the trees underwent selective breeding, resulting in their pink hues. Kanzan are famous cherry blossoms to grow abroad as they can handle colder temperatures. They are also smaller than other cherry blossoms, making them perfect for home gardens.

Are you interested in some snacks for the upcoming cherry blossom season? Check out Sakuraco!  Sakuraco delivers traditional Japanese snacks, teas, sweets, and snacks from Japan to your door every month so that you can enjoy Japan’s taste anywhere!

Ichiyou

A bunch of ichiyou blossoms on a branch, one of many rare flowers in the spring.
Ichiyou cherry blossoms have two sets of petals. Image via Shutterstock

Ichiyou, or “one-leaf”, is a famous cherry blossom in Japan. So named for the single pistil in the center of the flower that resembles a leaf, ichiyou are beautiful cherry blossom trees that first appeared in Japan in the early 19th century. The flowers themselves are vast and bell-like, with groupings of three to four flowers around a centered heart. Ichiyou trees were so well-liked that their leaves were once used as a special cherry-flavored drink many years ago in Japan.

Kikuzakura

Unlike many other types of cherry blossom trees, the kikuzakura are known for being very late bloomers. Aside from their late blooms, what makes them even more unique is that each flower can have up to 125 petals per flower! That is a tremendous number of petals. However, the large grouping only adds to the beauty of the hues of pink the tree is famous for. 

A bunch of kikuzakura, or cherry blossoms that look like chrysanthemums, on a branch.
Kikuzakura look like chrysanthemums. Image via Shutterstock

Unfortunately, due to their late blooming season, it can be a little tricky to enjoy the kikuzakura flowers fully. This is because, during that time, the green leaves on the tree start to cover them up. But, if you are lucky enough to catch them at the perfect time, you’ll be able to enjoy one of Japan’s most spectacular breeds of cherry blossoms.

Fugenzou

A bunch of fugenzou cherry blossoms on a branch.
The Fugenzou branch has existed for over 1000 years! Image via Shutterstock

The fugenzou cherry blossom tree is a magnificent tree with the grace to become a focal point in any garden. Though not as uniquely shaped as the shidarezakura trees and not as complete as the kikuzakura trees, the fugenzou cherry blossoms are simple yet elegant. Large, pale pink to white petals reach the air as the tree grows into a typical spreading flat-top form. These cherry blossom trees are always easy to spot, regardless of where you are in Japan.

Why should I see these rare flowers during sakura season?

Sakura festivals are famous worldwide not only because they herald the return of spring but also because they symbolize Japan itself. The cherry blossom festivals, foods, snacks, merchandise, and activities grow more popular each year, thanks to these beautiful flowers.

Cherry blossom trees on a river with a mountain in the background.
What other cherry blossom varieties have you heard of?Image via Shutterstock

Moreover, each represents the importance of cherry blossom trees and their impact on Japanese culture. To see the cherry blossoms themselves is already a special event, but to see rarer trees, which many people may not even be aware of as rare, is a special treat in and of itself. These rare flowers add to the cherry blossom’s allure and timeless beauty and should not be missed.

Have you been lucky enough to have seen any of these rare cherry blossom flowers? Which ones did you see, and where did you see them? What else were you able to do during the sakura season? Please tell us in the comments below! We would love to hear about your cherry blossom viewings and what you thought of them!

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