Cherries really are the true spring flowering trees for temperate climate gardens. I can think of no other fruit than its close relatives Prunus and some of the magnolias that even come close to rivalling flowering cherries for sheer weight of bloom and dynamic of the colors.
The genus Prunus, to which cherries, plums, almonds, apricots and peaches belong, includes about 430 species, distributed mostly in northern temperate regions and has the advantage of South America. Although including a few evergreen species, the most famous is cherry laurel, the genus is mainly deciduous and generally hardy to cool which is likely to occur in most New Zealand gardens.
The genus Prunus is widely recognized as being divided into 5 or 6 subspecies, even though some botanists prefer to recognize them as distinct generations. Most Cerasus family is one which belongs to the cherries.
Cherry images gallery