Prunus campanulata (Taiwan cherry)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Soil Tolerances
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Prunus campanulata Maxim.
Preferred Common Name
- Taiwan cherry
Other Scientific Names
- Cerasus campanulata (Maxim.) A. Vassiliev
- Cerasus campanulata (Maxim.) T. T. Yu & C. L. Li
- Cerasus cerasoides (D. Don) S.Ya.
- Prunus cerasoides D. Don
- Prunus pendula Maxim.
International Common Names
- English: bellflower cherry; bell-flowered cherry; Formosan cherry
- French: cerisier de Formose
Local Common Names
- China: zhong hua ying tao
- Germany: Glocken-Kirsche; Kirschbaum, Taiwan-
- New Zealand: tui tree
- Taiwan: Taiwan-Kirsche
- PRNCM (Prunus campanulata)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Prunus campanulata is a flowering cherry tree native to Taiwan, China and Vietnam that has been introduced as an ornamental to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the USA. In New Zealand, P. campanulata invades the understorey of relatively intact indigenous forests and is considered invasive in some areas, especially on the North Island, where it has spread and dominates native vegetation. There, in the region of Northland, it is prohibited to sell, propagate, breed, distribute or otherwise spread P. campanulata and in the Waikato region, the Regional Council requires residents to eradicate P. campanulata on personal property.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Rosales
- Family: Rosaceae
- Genus: Prunus
- Species: Prunus campanulata
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
P. campanulata was first described by Maximowicz in 1883, reduced as the variety P. cerasoides var. campanulata in 1910, and has changed several times since (Wang and Xiang, 1998). Since 1985, the Flora of China lists it as Cerasus campanulata (Wang et al., 1998; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018). In 1998, Wang and Xiang suggested that P. campanulata should be reduced as a variety of Cerasus cerasoides, as the main difference is that flowers of P. campanulata appear before leaves, although this trait varies with elevation and climate (Wang and Xiang, 1998).
DescriptionTop of page
P. campanulata is a small, deciduous, flowering tree that grows up to 8 m high (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018; NZFlora, 2018). It has characteristic deep red, bell-shaped flowers of up to 2.2 cm diameter that hang in clusters in late winter to early spring (GISD, 2011). Clusters contain 1-5 flowers on very short shoots which elongate after anthesis (NZFlora, 2018). Flowers can appear on the branches before leaves emerge (GISD, 2011). Sepals are triangular, 3-6 mm, magenta to dark red, glabrous, shiny becoming spreading or reflexed. There are five petals, 5-12 mm in diameter, corolla appearing campanulate and eventually spreading, broadly elliptic-ovate, deep pink to rose-magenta (NZFlora, 2018). Flowers have 39-41 stamens, and the style is hairy and usually longer than the stamens (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018). Filaments are flushed magenta to crimson. Fruits are ovoid, 12 x 10 mm, glabrous, glossy scarlet, with a smooth stone (NZFlora, 2018). Leaves are serrated, which is typical of other cherry species, 4-7 cm long and 2-3.5 cm wide, bright green on emergence, changing to dark green in summer and bronze in autumn (GISD, 2011). Leaf petioles are 12-20 mm and hairy, and blades obovate to broadly elliptical (NZFlora, 2018). The bark is blackish brown, branchlets are brown to purplish brown and young branchlets are green and hairy (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018).
Plant TypeTop of page
DistributionTop of page
P. campanulata is native to Taiwan, China and Vietnam and has been introduced as an ornamental to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the USA (GISD, 2011).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Feb 2022
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
IntroductionsTop of page
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
Where P. campanulata is still available as an ornamental, it may continue to spread from gardens and parks into natural areas.
HabitatTop of page
In Taiwan, P. campanulata is widely distributed in broadleaved forests at 500-2000 m of altitude (Ou and Chen, 2002). In China, it is found in forests in ravines, and in forest margins at 100-1300 m above sea level (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018).
In New Zealand, it is found in forests, riparian zones, urban areas, hillsides and in scrub (Webb et al., 1988; GISD, 2011). In Northland, New Zealand, P. campanulata prefers native forest, including urban fragments, regenerating secondary bush and relatively intact forest via canopy gaps, edges and riparian margins. It also occurs on roadsides and occasionally as an epiphyte. Urban forest fragments are the most invaded habitats (NRC, 2018).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial||Managed||Urban / peri-urban areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Urban / peri-urban areas||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Present, no further details||Natural|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Natural|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
P. campanulata is diploid with 2n= 16 and karyotype A1 (Wang et al., 2018), but AFLP analysis has shown that populations of P. campanulata in Japan, China and Taiwan are genetically different (Kanazawa et al., 2016).
Many flowering cherry cultivars have been shown to have originated from P. campanulata (Kanazawa et al., 2016). AFLP analysis has shown that Prunus × kanzakura cv. Atami-zakura is the F1 hybrid of P. jamasakura [Prunus serrulata f. spontanea] and P. campanulata. It has also shown that Prunus × kanzakura cv. Kawazu-zakura is the F1 hybrid of P. lannesiana var. speciosa [Prunus speciosa] and P. campanulata (Ogawa et al., 2012). Chloroplast DNA analysis suggests that natural crossing between hybrids of P. speciosa and P. campanulata often occur in Izu, Japan. It is hypothesized that these hybrid varieties developed near a human settlement where the two species were planted as a genetic resource for breeding desirable traits, such as the dark red petals of P. campanulata (Ohta et al., 2011).
In P. campanulata, 84 unigenes are associated with a response to cold stress, with upregulation of the DRP, MYB, HSP, GPX and GA20-ox genes, and downregulation of TIL and CDPK (Zhang et al., 2015a). Two P. campanulata MADS-box family genes involved in petal and stamen development were found to be very similar to the same genes in other members of the Rosaceae (Huang et al., 2017).
P. campanulata is insect-pollinated, and it flowers and seeds within 1-2 years (GISD, 2011). Seeds are long-lived and widely dispersed (Weedbusters, 2018). P. campanulata can also spread vegetatively (GISD, 2011).
The seeds exhibit physiological and morphological dormancy, which requires both warm and cold conditions to break (Lee et al., 2006; Chen et al., 2007; GISD, 2011). Dormancy may be broken by 4 to 6 weeks of warm conditions, followed by 8 weeks of cold conditions, and is promoted by removal of the endocarp and seed coat. Dormancy break is accompanied by a decrease in abscisic acid content of the covering layers and germination is accompanied by an increase in embryonic gibberellic acid (Chen at al., 2007).
Physiology and Phenology
Different strains of P. campanulata have been shown to have different leaf functional characteristics, which can be used to select strains suitable as ornamental street tree species (Hong et al., 2015).
It is one of the earliest flowering cherries, starting in early spring or late winter (GISD, 2011). In China, it flowers from January to March and fruits from April to May (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018). In New Zealand, it flowers from July to September (Webb et al., 1988; NZFlora, 2018).
P. campanulata prefers part-shade or sun, is hardy to -12˚C and prefers fertile, light, well-drained soil (GISD, 2011). The species is tolerant of warm and cold climates, and low to medium rainfall (Weedbusters, 2018).
In 11 natural populations of P. campanulata in China, flower colour and the number of flowers per plant were significantly correlated to longitude, latitude and annual rainfall, petal width was correlated to longitude and altitude, the number of flowers per plant, petal width and flowering habit were correlated to hours of sunshine, and petal width was correlated to annual mean temperature and frost-free period (Chen, 2008).
ClimateTop of page
|Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year|
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||-12|
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
In Taiwan, Phytophthora cambivora was found to cause stem blight and root rot to P. campanulata (Huang et al., 2012), Phellinus noxius was found to naturally infect the species (Ann et al., 1999) and the larvae of the butterfly Chrysozephyrus nishikaze was found to feed on P. campanulata (Savela, 2018).
In New Zealand, six sap transmissible viruses, including the Prunus necrotic ringspot virus, were identified in flowering cherries, including P. campanulata (Everett et al., 1993).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
P. campanulata can spread vegetatively (GISD, 2011).
P. campanulata has escaped from gardens, including via garden waste (GISD, 2011).
Pathway CausesTop of page
|Breeding and propagation||Explants are produced and tissue culture propagated for the horticulture industry||Yes||Zhang et al. (2015b); Chen et al. (2016)|
|Digestion and excretion||Can be dispersed by birds||Yes||GISD (2011)|
|Garden waste disposal||Yes||GISD (2011)|
|Internet sales||Yes||Yes||GISD (2011)|
|Ornamental purposes||Popular ornamental tree for both private gardens and public areas||Yes||Yes||Song (2007); GISD (2011)|
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Cultural/amenity||Positive and negative|
|Economic/livelihood||Positive and negative|
|Environment (generally)||Positive and negative|
Economic ImpactTop of page
In New Zealand, where the species is considered invasive, the regulation, management, removal and continued monitoring of P. campanulata has an associated high cost.
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Impact on Habitats
In New Zealand, P. campanulata invades the understorey of relatively intact indigenous forests (GISD, 2011). More specifically, in Northland, P. campanulata invades all shrublands, light gaps in the forest, roadsides, gardens and reserves, negatively impacting entire natural ecosystems (NRC, 2018). In open or disturbed areas, it forms dense stands that are long-lived and prevent regeneration of other species (Weedbusters, 2018).
Impact on Biodiversity
In New Zealand, P. campanulata competes with regenerating native species in native forests (GISD, 2011). In Northland, the species has the potential to spread and dominate native vegetation, displacing it completely and negatively affecting natural ecosystems (NRC, 2018).
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Has a broad native range
- Abundant in its native range
- Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
- Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
- Reproduces asexually
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Threat to/ loss of native species
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Competition - shading
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page
P. campanulata is a popular ornamental tree with economic value where sold (USDA-ARS, 2018).
There is a significant body of research being done into advancing the breeding of new cultivars and propagation techniques for the species (LüYueLiang et al., 2006) and the species is micropropagated for the horticulture industry (Zhang et al., 2015b; Chen at al., 2016).
P. campanulata is one of the cherry trees used to attract tourists to Kawazu City, Izu, Japan, every year for the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival (Ohta et al., 2011).
Although traditionally planted as an ornamental in Taiwan, with fruits of low edible value as a human food source, trials have been undertaken to improve fruit size and economic value of P. campanulata, with eight good selections identified as having potential (Song et al., 2007).
In the USA, the National Arboretum has a breeding program for ornamental cherry trees that, from 2012-2013, released two P. campanulata cultivars, ‘Abigail Adams’ and ‘Helen Taft’. ‘Abigail Adams’ has dark pink semi-double flowers and was selected for wider use in breeding programs, and ‘Helen Taft’ was selected for its vigorous growth, large pale pink flowers and ease of production (Pooler, 2013).
P. campanulata is a popular ornamental tree in both private gardens and public areas (GISD, 2011). It is one of the most commonly planted trees on school campuses in Lu-Gu and Shinyi Townships, Nantou County, Taiwan (Yang et al., 2012; 2016).
In Taiwan, part of its native range, P. campanulata is an important food source for Taiwan Yuhina birds (Yuhina brunneiceps) (Lee et al., 2005). Furthermore, three species of forest bird have been observed consuming the nectar of P. campanulata (Chen and Chou, 1999).
In New Zealand, P. campanulata attracts the endemic bird species tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) and bellbird (Anthornis melanura) (Tully, 2018).
Uses ListTop of page
- Botanical garden/zoo
- Sociocultural value
Human food and beverage
- garden plant
- Propagation material
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
In New Zealand, P. campanulata can be distinguished from other naturalized cherry trees, such as Japanese hill cherry (P. serrulata), cherry laurel (P. laurocerasus), Portugal laurel (P. lusitanica) and sweet cherry (P. avium) by its deep pink narrowly campanulate flowers that have a narrow hypanthium, with a tube-like lower corolla. Young trees may retain a Lombardy poplar upright habit for some years before spreading out (Webb et al., 1988; NZPCN, 2014; Weedbusters, 2018).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
In Northland, North Island, New Zealand, it is prohibited to sell, propagate, breed, distribute or otherwise spread P. campanulata (NRC, 2018) and the species is classified as a community pest (GISD, 2011; NRC, 2018). In the Auckland region, North Island, it is considered a species requiring further research to determine its effects on biodiversity, and is listed by the Waitakere City Council as an environmental weed posing a risk to conservation, for which eradication is recommended (GISD, 2011). In Waikato, North Island, it is included in the Regional Pest Management Strategy and classified as a ‘containment (occupier control) pest plant’. The Waikato Regional Council requires residents to eradicate P. campanulata on personal property (GISD, 2011).
In the regions of Bay of Plenty (North Island), Marlborough (South Island) and West Coast (South Island), P. campanulata is also considered a garden escapee and planting of alternative native species is recommended (GISD, 2011).
In Northland, New Zealand, P. campanulata is a sustained control plant, i.e. a widespread pest in suitable habitat that causes adverse effects to the environment. As a consequence, landowners are responsible for management of the plant and need to act to reduce its impact and spread (NRC, 2018).
P. campanulata trees should be removed by felling, and seedlings can be dug out (GISD, 2011). In Northland, New Zealand, it is recommended to pull out seedlings and small plants of P. campanulata and then to apply mulch, and to cut and stump treat more established plants all year round (NRC, 2018).
Once felled, stumps of P. campanulata should be treated with herbicide. Follow up treatments should be used to check for subsequent sprouting or seedlings (GISD, 2011). In Northland, New Zealand, it is recommended to cut P. campanulata trees and to stump treat them with metasulfuron-methyl or picloram all year round, followed by mulching the cut branches and leaves (NRC, 2018). Another recommended year-round method of chemical control is to cut, drill or ringbark, then inject the trunk at a downward angle with metasulfuron-methyl or picloram (NRC, 2018). Summer spraying with metasulfuron-methyl or picloram is also recommended for the control of P. campanulata.
After physical and chemical control of P. campanulata, sites should be monitored for potential growth and seed bank for two years. It is also recommended that a dense cover of native trees or shrubs is planted to produce shade (Weedbusters, 2018).
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
Roy et al. (2015) suggested that P. campanulata was a species with high risk of arrival, establishment, spread and threat to the EU over the subsequent 10 years. Tanner et al. (2017) reviewed this species and 36 other alien plant species to determine which were a priority for conducting a risk assessment in order to be added to the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern. They found that there was insufficient information available regarding the impacts of P. campanulata, particularly in the EU, so a risk assessment was not possible. As a result, regular literature reviews of this species are recommended (Tanner et al., 2017).
ReferencesTop of page
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ContributorsTop of page
03/06/18 Original text by:
Vicki Cottrell, Consultant, UK
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