Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in Stanley Park, April 10 to 17

Third Report, Nina Shoroplova, Cherry Scout for Stanley Park

So many cultivars of flowering cherries reached peak beauty this past week that it’s hard to know where to begin. Though I have never before concentrated on so few tree species at a time, I now understand the fascination with the transcendent and fragile beauty of cherry blossoms.

This third report about the blossoming cherry trees in Stanley Park for the week April 10 to 16 reveals that there are cherry trees along every walk, beside the seawall, beside roads, and in garden groves. This week I solved a mystery and spotted several more trees that will be blooming soon, perhaps next week.

My first walk of the week went toward Second Beach. Several ‘Akebono’ arched over the path.

Three ‘Akebono’ grow beside the walking-cycling path down to Second Beach.

Emerging from the underpass between Ceperley Field and Meadow on the Pitch & Putt side, I was thrilled to see that the row of ‘Snow Goose’ was blossoming.

A row of ‘Snow Goose’ edges the southerly walking path at Ceperley Meadow.
A close-up of ‘Snow Goose’

I passed the single Prunus ‘Shujaku’ growing near the stone bridge over Ceperley Stream where it flows into Lost Lagoon. It’s not blooming yet, but its red buds and copper-and-green leaves promise future beauty.

A single Prunus ‘Shujaku’ is in its prebloom stage.

Next, I walked along the south shore of Lost Lagoon, planted with many Prunus.

The double blossoms of the several ‘Shirotae’ growing
on the south shore of Lost Lagoon are lovely.
Double blossoms of ‘Shirotae’

The sentinel ‘Ojochin’ at the Japanese-Canadian War Memorial reached full bloom this week. This remarkable and rare tree was planted here in the early 1930s, a decade after the memorial was unveiled in April 1920. The photo below shows how it came to be given the name ‘Ojochin’, Japanese for lantern, referring to the pink, almost-open buds just before they reach full bloom.

One ancient ‘Ojochin’ grows beside the Japanese-Canadian War Memorial

The nearby group of ‘Akebono’ and the avenue of ‘Shirotae’ are still looking lovely. To the west of the memorial is a grove of ‘Shirofugen’ that will bloom soon.

‘Shirofugen’ buds and copper leaves

North of the war memorial between Lumberman’s Arch and its concession stand stands a row of six young ‘Akebono’. Clearly there were seven of them originally.

A row of ‘Akebono’ at Lumberman’s Arch
Close-up of the ‘Akebono’ blossoms at Lumberman’s Arch

Returning home, I walk along Rose Garden Lane on the north border of the Rose Garden. Three ‘Takasago’ are in bloom here, vase-shaped trees with deep pink blossoms.

A ‘Takasago’ grows along the path from Rose Garden Lane
toward the Air Force Garden of Remembrance.
Some ‘Takasago’ blossoms have deep pink stamens.
The double pink blossoms on the ‘Takasago’ seem to vary in colour,
from one umbel to the next.

And finally, I reached the tree that posed a mystery for me last week, the one I thought was a ‘Somei-yoshino’ at the bottom and something else at the top. It turns out that the tree is so tall that its growing conditions near the ground allow it to be further ahead there than up in the canopy, which is visible from the sloping ramp to the Lord Stanley statue. This week, the canopy blossoms have caught up.

Blossoms at the top of a ‘Somei-yoshino’ can be seen
from the sloping ramp into Stanley Park.
A Prunus ‘Somei-yoshino’ grows between the seawall
and the sloping ramp up to the Lord Stanley statue.

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