Until it first flowered here in 1917 this beautiful small flowering cherry, from northern China, was thought to be the common form of Prunus pseudocerasus. However its pink fragrant blossom differed from the white blossom seen on the common form. This alerted the Garden’s curator at the time, R I Lynch, to the fact that this was something quite different from the tree originally described by John Lindley.
It went on to be named as Prunus cantabrigiensis in 1928. Today it is commonly treated as a cultivar and is usually referred to as Prunus pseudocerasus ‘Cantabrigiensis’.
There are two locations in the Garden where they can be seen smothered with fragrant, pink blossom, sometimes as early as February. One can be found just off the South Walk near the herbaceous beds and two further examples can be seen just the other side of a group of Chamaecyparis opposite the entrance to the Schools Garden on Lynch Walk. It received an RHS Award of Merit in 1925.