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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: 'dream Catcher' and 'first Lady' Flowering Cherry

Author
item Pooler, Margaret

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 11, 2006
Publication Date: February 1, 2007
Citation: Pooler, M.R. 2007. 'Dream Cater' and 'First Lady' Flowering Cherry. HortScience. 42(1):174-175.

Interpretive Summary: Ornamental flowering cherry trees are popular landscape plants, made famous in the U.S. by the historic Tidal Basin cherries planted in Washington, D.C. Although planted primarily for their spring bloom, flowering cherries are also used as street or shade trees, and are valued for their fall foliage as well as ornamental bark. The U.S. National Arboretum has an ongoing breeding program aimed at developing new cultivars of ornamental cherry with disease and pest resistance, tolerance to environmental stresses, and superior ornamental characteristics. Here we report the first two flowering cherry selections, Prunus 'Dream Catcher' and 'First Lady' released from the flowering cherry breeding program at the U.S. National Arboretum. Prunus 'Dream Catcher'is a deciduous, upright, vase-shaped flowering cherry that has reached a mature height of 24 feet and a width of 14.5 feet in 25 years of growth. Medium pink single flowers open in late March and early April in Washington, D.C., approximately one week after Prunus ‘Okame’ begins to bloom. Foliage remains dark green throughout the summer, changing to red-orange in the fall. Prunus 'First Lady' was selected for its strongly upright, almost columnar growth habit, dark pink to near red semi-pendulous single flowers, and glossy dark, green foliage. It has reached a height of 25.5 feet and a crown spread of 13.5 feet after 20 years of growth in Washington, D.C. Flowers open in late March in Washington, D.C. at approximately the same time as Prunus 'Okame'. Both trees are well suited for use as specimen plants, in group plantings in residential, park, or public areas, or as flowering street trees.

Technical Abstract: Ornamental flowering cherry trees (Prunus L. species) are popular landscape plants, made famous in the U.S. by the historic Tidal Basin cherries planted in Washington, D.C. Although planted primarily for their spring bloom, flowering cherries are also used as street or shade trees, and are valued for their fall foliage as well as ornamental bark. Approximately 1.3 million flowering cherry trees are sold each year in the U.S., with an estimated total value of $24.8 million. The U.S. National Arboretum has an ongoing breeding program aimed at developing new cultivars of ornamental cherry with disease and pest resistance, tolerance to environmental stresses, and superior ornamental characteristics. Here we report the first two flowering cherry selections, Prunus 'Dream Catcher' and 'First Lady' released from the flowering cherry breeding program at the U.S. National Arboretum. Prunus 'Dream Catcher', NA61050, PI583787, is a deciduous, upright, vase-shaped flowering cherry that has reached a mature height of 8.0 meters and a width of 4.8 meters in 25 years of growth. Medium pink single flowers open in late March and early April in Washington, D.C., approximately one week after Prunus ‘Okame’ begins to bloom. Foliage remains dark green throughout the summer, changing to red-orange in the fall. Prunus 'First Lady', NA 61051, PI584481, was selected for its strongly upright, almost columnar growth habit, dark pink to near red semi-pendulous single flowers, and glossy dark, green foliage. It has reached a height of 8.5 meters and a crown spread of 4.5 meters after 20 years of growth in Washington, D.C. Flowers open in late March in Washington, D.C. at approximately the same time as Prunus 'Okame'.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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