Horticultural Highlight: Weeping peach
In this series, the staff of Duke Gardens highlights plants you’ll find within our 55-acre living collection. This week, assistant horticulturist Tess Anderson features one of her favorite flowering spring trees.
Botanical name: Prunus persica 'Crimson Cascade'
Common name: Weeping peach
Family name: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Plant type: Deciduous tree
Native range: China
Location in Duke Gardens: Culberson Asiatic Arboretum main entrance near the Mary Duke Biddle Rose Circle
Site requirements: Part shade to full sun
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9
Prunus persica ‘Crimson Casade’ is one of my favorite spring-blooming trees in Duke Gardens. Prunus is a large genus of species, the most well known being the cherry. We have beautiful displays of flowering cherry trees throughout the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, as well as the Cherry Allée leading from the Gothic Gates to the Roney Fountain. However, this genus of more than 400 species also includes many other well-known fruits and nuts such as peach, plum, apricot, nectarine and almond.
Prunus persica ‘Crimson Cascade’ is an ornamental peach with a weeping form. It is a deciduous tree with very deep, almost purple colored foliage and bright pink double-formed flowers. This weeping peach does best in part shade to full sun, meaning it gets about six or more hours of direct sunlight a day, and it likes well drained soils but prefers not to dry out. This gorgeous plant can serve as a specimen plant in your garden—meaning it stands alone and is highlighted for its beauty. It is also striking when planted en masse in a grove or allée like the flowering cherry trees in the Historic Gardens. It’s in peak bloom now and looks spectacular.
Photos by Tess Anderson (peach) and Clarence Burke (portrait).