Thursday, March 5, 2020

Plant of the Week: Prunus mume 'Kobai'

I'm late in delivering my plant of the week. Bad me.

This week's gem is blooming right now. It is Prunus mume 'Kobai' one of the Japanese Flowering Apricots. It had been on my wish for at least fifteen years and I don't know why it took me so long to get it, but back in the fall of 2018, my wish came true.

A winter bloomer, Kobai starts blooming at the beginning of February and is still looking nice right now. On warm days I can catch wind of its sweet fragrance.

Prunus mume 'Kobai' flowers

I bought my plant from sweet and super smart plant lady Lucile Whitman at Whitman Farms, located just outside of Salem's west side. If you've never been to her beautiful nursery, you must call Lucile and make an appointment. She's got the coolest stuff, more than what's on her website.

The flowers are small, maybe one inch in diameter, but they're oh so exquisite with their soft petals and frilly insides. They appear on bare branches, followed by the leaves in early April.

Below is a photo of the plant right after I brought it home. It was in October so it was already going dormant. At almost three feet tall and branching, it was already off to a good start.

The stick-looking plant is the Prunus

 Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the early bees enjoying the nectar. But they do. Trust me.

Finally, in case you're wondering, flowering apricot trees/shrubs are pretty much strictly ornamental. They produce these cute baby apricots but they are not delicious.

Do you grow this lovely?


  1. Very pretty! I love seeing the brightly flowered fruit trees in my area but they seem fewer in number than I remember in prior years, a result of our regular cycles of drought perhaps. I'm (im)patiently waiting for flowers on the peach tree on my back slope. It was poorly placed by some prior owner and has yet to produce viable fruit but it produces a lovely, if brief, flush of bloom.

  2. Gracie it is gorgeous .. I am waiting for my crab apple which has pink buds too ... but it will be a long way off yet .. what a pretty start to Spring for you .. hope you are well and away from the virus !

  3. That is a beauty for sure, Grace. That shade of pink (you have so many :) ) is magical!


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