Mount Fuji Cherry Prunus 'Shirotae'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
cherry 'Shirotae'


The Prunus 'Shirotae', commonly known as the Mount Fuji cherry, is a deciduous tree that is widely admired for its remarkable floral display. It showcases a profusion of slightly fragrant, semi-double to double flowers that are pure white in color. These delicate blossoms generously cover its gracefully spreading branches, casting a soft, snowy spectacle. The flowers emerge from pink buds, adding a subtle hint of color before fully opening to white. The leaves of the Mount Fuji cherry are a fresh green as they unfold, turning to dark green as they mature, and they provide a lovely contrast to the pristine white blossoms. Come autumn, the foliage undergoes a transformation, taking on warm hues of orange and red before the leaves are shed for the winter season. As the tree matures, it develops an elegant, spreading canopy that can provide dappled shade, making it a favored choice for parks and gardens where a picturesque, canopy-like feature is desired. The bark of the Mount Fuji cherry adds to its interest, being shiny and smooth, with a reddish-brown color that stands out in the landscape, especially during the winter months when the branches are bare. This combination of floral beauty, changing leaf color, and attractive bark provides year-round interest.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Mount Fuji Cherry, Japanese Flowering Cherry, Shirotae Cherry.

    • Common names

      Prunus 'Shirotae'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as Mount Fuji cherry may contain components that are toxic to humans if ingested, particularly in its seeds, leaves, and stems, which can have cyanogenic glycosides. These compounds can release cyanide in the body when chewed and digested. Symptoms of poisoning can include headache, dizziness, confusion, anxiety, vomiting, and in severe cases, can lead to respiratory failure and death.

    • To pets

      Similar to its effects on humans, the Mount Fuji cherry can be toxic to pets if they ingest parts of the plant that contain cyanogenic glycosides, notably the seeds, leaves, and stems. Symptoms of toxicity in pets can include drooling, panting, weakness, incoordination, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, shock, and in extreme cases, could possibly result in respiratory failure and death if a large enough amount is ingested.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      15-20 feet (4.6-6 meters)

    • Spread

      15-20 feet (4.6-6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Beauty: The Mount Fuji cherry displays attractive white blossoms that create a stunning floral display each spring, enhancing the aesthetics of landscapes.
    • Shade Provider: With its broad canopy, it offers a pleasant shade during sunny days, making it a functional addition to parks and gardens.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The blossoms and fruit attract a variety of birds and beneficial insects, promoting biodiversity.
    • Seasonal Interest: Through the changing seasons, the Mount Fuji cherry provides year-round visual interest, from spring flowers to vibrant fall foliage.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Prunus 'Shirotae', commonly known as Mount Fuji cherry, can be used as a bonsai specimen, offering enthusiasts the beauty of its blooms in miniature form.
    • The bark of the Mount Fuji cherry tree may be utilized in craftwork and carving to create decorative items.
    • The wood of the Mount Fuji cherry can be used in furniture making due to its grain and aesthetics.
    • Fallen Mount Fuji cherry blossoms can be incorporated into art projects, such as pressing them into books or using them in paper making for a floral touch.
    • Mount Fuji cherry branches can be used in floral arrangements, providing a unique and elegant structure to the composition.
    • The flowers of the Mount Fuji cherry can be used to flavor some traditional Japanese confections, offering a subtle floral taste.
    • The leaves of the Mount Fuji cherry can be utilized in crafting to add a natural touch to decor items, such as wreaths.
    • Mount Fuji cherry sawdust or wood shavings can be used in smoking foods to impart a distinctive aroma to meats and fish.
    • Mount Fuji cherry trees can be planted to help prevent soil erosion on slopes due to their root structure.
    • The Mount Fuji cherry can be used as a natural dye, with the flowers imparting a pale pink hue to fabrics or crafts.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Mount Fuji cherry is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Mount Fuji cherry is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Purity: The 'Shirotae' cherry, also known as Mount Fuji cherry, bears pristine white blossoms, which are often associated with purity and innocence.
    • Renewal: As a spring-flowering tree, the Mount Fuji cherry symbolizes new beginnings and the rejuvenation of nature after winter.
    • Impermanence: Similar to other cherry blossoms, the fleeting beauty of the Mount Fuji cherry's blooming period is a reminder of life's ephemeral nature and the philosophy of impermanence.
    • Beauty: The stunning visual display of the Mount Fuji cherry in full bloom is emblematic of beauty and aesthetic pleasure.
    • Friendship: Cherry trees are often considered symbols of friendship and good relations, stemming from their cultural significance and the practice of viewing blossoms together.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Mount Fuji Cherry, or Prunus 'Shirotae', should be watered deeply to encourage root growth, usually once a week depending on climate conditions. During the growing season, increase watering frequency to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. In the absence of rain, a general guideline is to provide 1 to 2 gallons of water every week for young trees, adjusting as necessary for mature trees based on size and weather. During hot, dry periods, additional water may be necessary. Decrease watering in late fall before the first frost to prepare the tree for dormancy.

  • sunLight

    The Mount Fuji Cherry thrives in full sun to partial shade. The ideal location is a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, as this encourages the best flowering and fruiting. However, some afternoon shade can be beneficial in extremely hot climates to protect the tree from excessive heat stress.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The ideal temperature for the Mount Fuji Cherry ranges between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, though it can tolerate temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit once established. Avoid planting in locations where temperatures may exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods as this can stress the plant. It is cold hardy and well-suited to temperate climates.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Mount Fuji Cherry in late winter or early spring before new growth begins, this promotes a healthy structure and enhances flowering. Remove dead, damaged, or crossing branches to maintain good air circulation. Thinning out the canopy every few years encourages light to reach the inner branches and can increase bloom. Regular pruning also helps in shaping the tree and controlling its size.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Mount Fuji cherry prefers well-draining, loamy soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. The best soil mix would be one part garden soil, one part compost, and one part coarse sand to ensure proper drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Mount Fuji cherry, being a larger tree, is typically not repotted. Instead, it should be planted in the ground or transferred to a larger space when necessary, which isn't a regular occurrence.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Mount Fuji cherry tree thrives best in outdoor conditions where it can receive natural airflow and humidity. It does not require specific humidity levels when grown outside.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Not suitable for indoor cultivation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-draining soil, full sun, and space well from other trees.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Prunus 'Shirotae', commonly known as Mount Fuji cherry, begins its life cycle as a seed, germinating in spring after a period of cold stratification, which simulates winter conditions. The seedling stage follows germination, during which the plant develops its root system and first leaves. As it matures into a sapling, it develops a stronger trunk and branches, and after several years, it enters the juvenile stage when it can start producing buds. Upon reaching maturity, the Mount Fuji cherry blossoms in early spring, displaying a profusion of white, fragrant flowers before the foliage emerges. After pollination, typically by insects, it produces small stone fruits which are dispersed by animals, allowing the cycle to continue. Lastly, in its declining years, the tree's growth slows, and it may become more susceptible to diseases and pests before eventually dying.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Prunus 'Shirotae', commonly known as the Mount Fuji cherry, is typically propagated through grafting, which is the most popular method. Grafting is usually done in late winter or early spring before the tree breaks dormancy. In this process, a scion, which is a young shoot or twig with buds, is selected from a healthy Mount Fuji cherry tree. The scion is then carefully joined to the rootstock of another cherry species that has been selected for its hardiness and adaptability to local soil and climate conditions. The joint is made by making compatible cuts in both the scion and the rootstock, aligning them so that the cambium layers match, and then securing them together with grafting tape or compound. The grafted area is then kept moist and protected until the graft union heals and the scion begins to grow, thereby combining the desired qualities of the Mount Fuji cherry with the robustness of the selected rootstock. This method relies on the skill and experience of the gardener to ensure a successful graft and subsequent growth.