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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Prunus mume Flowers

Type of Flower 
Prunus mume: 
Prunus mume is an Asian tree species classified in the Armeniaca section of the genus Prunus subgenus Prunus. Its common names include Chinese plum and Japanese apricot.The flower is usually called plum blossom.This distinct tree species is related to both the plum and apricot trees.Although generally referred to as a plum in English, it is more closely related to the apricot.The fruit of the tree is used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cooking in juices, as a flavouring for alcohol, as a pickle and in sauces. It is also used in traditional medicine. 
The tree's flowering in late winter and early spring is highly regarded as a seasonal symbol.
Prunus mume originated in the south of mainland China around the Yangtze River and was later introduced to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.It can be found in sparse forests, stream sides, forested slopes along trails and mountains, sometimes at altitudes up to 1,700–3,100 metres (5,600–10,200 ft), and regions of cultivation. 
The plant is known by a number of different names in English, including Chinese plum and Japanese apricot. An alternative name is ume,from Japanese, or mume, from the scientific name.Another alternative name is mei, from the Chinese name. 
The flower is known as the meihua (梅花) in Chinese, which came to be translated as "plum blossom" or sometimes as "flowering plum".The term "winter plum" may be used too, specifically with regard to the depiction of the flower with its early blooming in Chinese painting.
In Chinese it is called méi (梅) and the fruit is called méizi (梅子). The Japanese name is ume (kanji: 梅; hiragana: うめ), while the Korean name is maesil (hangul: 매실; hanja: 梅實). The Japanese and Korean terms derive from Middle Chinese, in which the pronunciation is thought to have been muəi.The Vietnamese name is mai or mơ (although mai may also refer to a different plant, Ochna integerrima, in the south of Vietnam).
Prunus mume is a deciduous tree that starts to flower in mid-winter, typically around January until late February in East Asia. It can grow to 4–10 metres (13–33 ft) tall. The flowers are 2–2.5 centimetres (0.79–0.98 in) in diameter and have a strong fragrant scent.They have colors in varying shades of white, pink, and red.The leaves appear shortly after the petals fall, are oval-shaped with a pointed tip, and are 4–8 cm long and 2.5–5 cm wide.The fruit ripens in early summer, around June and July in East Asia, and coincides with the rainy season of East Asia, the meiyu (梅雨, literally "plum rain").The drupe is 2–3 centimetres (0.79–1.18 in) in diameter with a groove running from the stalk to the tip.The skin turns yellow, sometimes with a red blush, as it ripens, and the flesh becomes yellow. The tree is cultivated for its fruit and flowers.
Growing Prunus mume select a site with good sun, a full day of sun is best, but they will bloom in high filtered shade or a half day of sun. Prunus mume is not particular about soil, but will do better if the site is not very wet or dry. 
For the best growth, you can prepare a bed of improved soil. I recommend putting a layer of compost 4-6 inches over an area at least 25 square feet (5' x 5'), and tilling the compost into the existing soil. Prunus mume will usually do fine in regular garden soil, even if it has a lot of clay. 
I would dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball will be even with the surrounding soil, but not any lower. You can place the plant in the hole while still in the pot to get the depth right. Once the pot is removed, place the root-ball in the hole and adjust the plant for depth and vertical orientation. Step back and view from two angles if you want a trunk that is straight up and down. With time, Prunus mume tends to have a gnarled look, rather than a single straight stem. Staking is usually necessary only if the plant seems loose, or is moving in the wind. Backfill the hole with soil that came out of the hole and firmly pack the soil around the roots. I usually make a ridge of dirt around the root-ball which makes a basin in which water can collect, and slowly soak into the soil. Water well after planting. The first year, the tree needs to be watered 1-2 times/week with a deep watering that gets water down to all the root-ball. The frequency of watering depends on the heat, and how established the plant has become. 
Frtilize lightly in March and May in the South, or April and June in the North. Mulch with any organic mulch like pine bark or wood chips. The plant can be trained to a desired shape by pruning and staking. Lower limbs can be cut off to have a tree form. Without pruning, it will make a small tree 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Dead branches and crossed branches can be removed in winter.


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