One of the Memphis Botanic Garden’s favorite features, the Yoshino Cherry Trees (scientific name Prunus x yedoensis) lining Cherry Road in front of the Memphis Botanic Garden (MBG) are now in bloom! From Southern Avenue to Park Avenue, these beautiful, slightly fragrant blossoms are currently pink and will fade to white as they mature over the coming weeks.
The Yoshino Cherry is one of the most popular ornamental trees in the world and is famously known as the tree lining the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C., which were a gift to the United States from Japan. The Little Garden Club of Memphis generously donated the first set of Yoshino Cherry Trees to the Garden in the 1950s. Over the years, as a tree reached the end of its life (typically 40 years in Memphis), it has been replaced. In the last 20 years, we have replaced approximately 30-40 Cherry Trees, in part because of continued generosity from the Little Garden Club.
Every year Memphians gather under the Yoshino Cherry Trees in early spring to picnic, paint, and take family photographs. Our trees provide a spectacular backdrop for these activities, but they are only in bloom for a short time.
In celebration of these beautiful blooms, the Garden will host its annual Cherry Blossom Picnic on March 18 from 10 am to 4 pm. Attendees can enjoy family-friendly activities including creating kimono dolls and koi windsocks and learning shodo name writing and origami. The event also features performances by 901 Taiko, a koto performance from Maika Yamaoka, a tea ceremony demonstration, and guided tours of the Japanese Garden from Horticulturist Robin Howell. Plus Asian-inspired food trucks will be on-site for a picnic lunch and a signature cocktail and other spring spirits will be available from the cash bar.
Now is the perfect time to shake off the cold of winter, welcome spring, and bask in the warming sun and momentary brilliance of Yoshino Cherry Trees in bloom at the Memphis Botanic Garden.
The Memphis Botanic Garden is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to being an exemplary center for horticulture and environmental enrichment. Serving over 40,000 school-aged children annually, and hosting 260,000 visitors each year, Memphis Botanic Garden strives to enhance lives by connecting people with nature, increasing awareness and appreciation of our environment.