Kume-no-Sakura: クメノサクラ

Somewhat recently in Okinawa, we have another type of sakura (cherry blossom) that blooms after the usual season here (usual season for Okinawa is late January through mid-February). It comes from Kume-jima, so it is called kume-no-sakura クメノサクラ. Someiyoshino 染井吉野 is a type of cherry blossom blooming in mainland Japan; Kume no sakura is a cherry blossom which looks similar to someiyoshino, with whitish, faintly pale pink petals. Typically in Okinawa, we have a type of sakura with bright pink petals called kanhi zakura 寒緋櫻 (cold scarlet sakura), which are actually from Taiwan and southern China.

So while many people think that the sakura season is over for Okinawa, it is in fact not! In Izumi ward of the Motobu peninsula (not far from Yaedake), you can see these beautiful kume-no-sakura blooms, usually during mid- to late March, or even into very early April. There are around 1,000 trees planted there.

Another difference you will notice with the kume-no-sakura petals is that they fall away one by one, instead of the whole flower dropping at once like the kanhizakura does. The feeling of the kume-no-sakura trees is very different from the more commonly found kanhizakura here in Okinawa.

So if you missed the sakura the first time around in Okinawa, just be patient… and you will be rewarded with a set of slightly different, but just as pretty, sakura! How lucky are we in Okinawa that we get to see sakura not once, but twice a year?

*Note: you may be able to see these trees around various locations, but not in large concentrations– one such place is in front of the Orion Beer Happy Park in Nago.

These are some pictures are of them just starting, taken with my iPhone:

Address for Kume-no-sakura trees in Izumi ward of Motobu (there is a parking lot right next to the trees):

*First blooms: Mid-March, Peak: end of March, End: early April