Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Prunus japonica Thunb.

Fully-hardy dwarf shrub or small tree with serrated, ovate leaves, and white, blush or pink flowers, often double in cultivated forms, appearing before the leaves in spring.  A number of garden forms exist.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The country of which Amygdalus pumila is a native, is by no means certain; Persoon attributes it to China, and the African origin given it by Linnaeus, is doubtful; being derived solely from Herman, who apparently speaks only from memory; for although he says he found it growing luxuriantly at the Cape, he acknowledges that he introduced it into the Dutch gardens, from the English, in which, on his return to Europe, he found it was not uncommon.’  The plant is shown with pink flowers.  [BM t.2176/1820].  Prunus japonica Ker var. flore pleno was figured in the Illustration Horticole [IH p.183, vol.5/1858].  Synonyms given include Prunus sinensis Pluk., Prunus humilis Bunge., and Amygdalus pumila L.  Johnson’s Dictionary describes Amygdalus pumila as a double dwarf shrub, introduced from China in 1683.  

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1845 and 1850 catalogues.  It is likely that Macarthur’s plants were double as he sent a ‘double blossom cherry’ to J. Abbott of Hobart on 16th June 1846.  [MP A2933-2, p.159].


The plant listed in Hilliers’ as Prunus japonica Thunb. appears to be a form introduced to Europe much later.

Published Feb 18, 2009 - 04:37 PM | Last updated Feb 04, 2010 - 12:38 PM

The image shows serrated, ovate leaves and double pink flowers.   Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2176, 1820.

Prunus japonica Thunb. | BM t.2176/1820 | BHL

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin


  • Amygdalus pumila L.
Common Name

Flowering cherry, Flowering almond

Name in the Camden Park Record

Amygdalus pumila 

Confidence level high