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Bird Cherry Watereri, botanically called Prunus Padus Watereri, is a glorious ornamental bird cherry variety with a spectacular spring display. This deciduous showy cherry was originally called Prunus Padus Grandiflora (syn) when it was bred in 1914, and since then has won the RHS Award of Garden Merit and Perfect for Pollinators title.
In spring Prunus Padus Watereri produces 20cm long spikes of small fragrant flowers that are so abundant their weight causes the branches to droop downwards. These blooms are slender racemes made from many small star-shaped flowers with white petals and yellow centres. The blooms carry an almond scent that is irresistible to bees and butterflies, and most people too. Small black fruits that are inedible but attractive to birds appear in summer.
Foliage emerges around the same time as blossom in green ovals with veins that turn a rich buttery yellow in autumn before falling in winter.
Height and Width of Prunus Padus Watereri This medium-sized cultivar of bird cherry will reach a maximum height of 15 metres in optimum growing conditions and will spread over 8 metres however the weight of blossom and fruit often causes the branches to droop, meaning the width is reduced. Excess height can be controlled with pruning, but it will take 20-50 years for Bird Cherry Watereri to reach maximum proportions.
How Hardy is Prunus Padus Watereri Fully hardy throughout Europe, this is a tough tree that belies its pretty, delicate flowering habit. If it is kept from waterlogged soils this tree can survive the harshest winters.
How To Use Prunus Padus Watereri Prunus Padus Watereri is suited to medium-sized urban gardens that need spring colour and winter structure. It looks good in a deep border where its light shade doesn’t prevent under-planting. It also looks good as a specimen tree in the lawn, and makes a wildlife friendly addition to more wild landscapes. You can grow this cultivar of bird cherry in a large container which will restrict its size, but it will require plenty of water and frequent fertiliser.
How To Care For Prunus Padus Watereri Bird cherries grow quickly and strongly in moist, well-drained fertile soils, but it will manage just about anywhere, including chalky conditions. It’s best to prep less than perfect soils with a mix of compost and rotted organic matter, and provide a thick mulch each year to keep it in tip-top shape.
Pruning is not required as Prunus Padus Watereri holds its own shapely framework, but you can restrict its height or cut out unruly branches in winter.
Prunus Padus Waterei is a good choice for medium-sized gardens in need of some glamour and height without the need for high maintenance. It is a glorious sight in spring with those larger than average flowers and suits most garden spaces with ease.