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?