Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ume Apricot Tree Blooming in January

The weather was nice today so I spent some time puttering around in the garden. While there, I noticed fat pink buds ready to burst open on the Flowering Ume Apricot Tree.

Winter Double Pink Flowering Ume Apricot. Prunus mume. The tree has large ruffled, deep-pink  flowers. Mature height of the tree is 12 feet.

I am beyond excited. The tree is three years old, about five-feet high and this is the first year for blooms. It is the third tree I have planted, the previous two succumbing to hot summers and drought before they could become established.

I have never seen one of these trees growing, only photos in gardening books. But for several years I have wanted one. Why? Because blooms appear in winter, are highly fragrant and oh so pretty! Who could ask for more from a tree?


There won’t be many blooms this year, but hey, it’s a start! I can’t wait until the buds open to see if it’s truly as fragrant as the literature claims.

The Ume Apricot is said to be an excellent honey bee tree and that bees will work it on warm days in winter. 

I suppose my tree also will eventually produce fruit, although that is not my reason for growing it. Ume fruits (also known as Japanese apricots) are eaten raw, candied, boiled, preserved in sugar, pickled in salt and dried, or made into a liqueur. The fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine and the blossom has cultural significance and has been frequently depicted in Chinese art and poetry for centuries. The blossom is seen as a symbol of winter and a harbinger of spring and are used for scenting tea

In Taiwan, the plum blossom is symbol for resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity during the harsh winter. In Korea and Japan, the blossom is a symbol for spring.

An Ume Tree in the Moonlight Night - Jaehong Soe

Prunus mume is a popular bonsai speciman.

Are you familiar with the Flowering Ume Apricot Tree? Have you ever eaten the fruit?


  1. I'm excited for you Sanda; the flowers are goooorgious. I have not heard of the Ume Apricot but it is a stunner. Congratulations - you are very good at growing fruit trees.

    1. I love trees! And especially ones that bloom when the weather is still cold!

  2. What a beautiful tree makes me think of Spring,have never heard of this particular variety (will look it up).
    Will look forward to seeing a photo when it flowers. Ida

    1. I will show a picture once the buds are open and will also tell you if it is as fragrant as it is claimed to be.

  3. Not familiar with this beauty. You must have given it great care to get it to bloom. I've eaten a dried preserved plum called an Ume (or Umeboshi)Plum. I Do Not Like them. A friend who is Japanese eats them all the time. She laughed because I'm known to be adventuresome when it comes to foods but draw the line at Ume plums.


    1. If my tree ever produces a fruit I will be curious to try one.

  4. Beautiful blooms...not familiar with. Hope it blooms by Sat and rain doesn't ruin it!! How exciting! Maybe this doesn't publish three times!!!!!


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