Corinthian Rose Flowering Peach TreePrunus persica 'Corinthian Rose' (PP#11,902)
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Prunus persica 'Corinthian Rose' (PP#11,902)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Corinthian Rose Flowering Peach is a beautiful spring flowering small tree, with large 1½ inch double blossoms on bare spring branches. They are fragrant, and a beautiful shade or rich rose-pink. This is a very fast-growing tree, adding 4 feet a year to mature quickly at 25 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide, with a columnar form, especially when young. The leaves are bright purple when they first develop, becoming darker red over summer, and turning yellow in fall. Grow it as a lawn specimen, in a shrub bed or along a fence. A lovely way to quickly bring beauty to a new garden.
Full sun is best for the Corinthian Rose Flowering Peach, which is adaptable to most soils as long as they are well-drained. Avoid wet and low-lying places. This tree will grow in urban conditions and although some pests or diseases are possible, they are not very important, since fruit production is not the goal. Some trimming, after the petals fall, can be done to keep a very neat shape. This tree is moderately drought resistant once it is established.
When making a new garden – or improving an old one – a good spring display is important, to get the gardening year off to a strong start. You don’t want to wait years to see the results of your planting (although including slower-growing plants is vital for the future maturity of your garden) and with the Corinthian Rose Flowering Peach you certainly won’t be waiting long. The fast-growing tree will be about 15 feet tall within 4 years, filling in and growing up to 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide within a decade or so. Its beautiful columnar form makes it a striking feature, in or out of bloom, and the red leaves keep it interesting through summer. It is in spring though, with the arrival of those first warmer days, that this lovely tree makes a big splash. It is so eager to blossom that it doesn’t wait for the leaves – no, the bare branches burst into bloom, exploding with brilliant pink blossoms, with stunning impact. Your new garden will be bursting with color in no time at all when you plant this lovely tree. Go for it.
The Corinthian Rose Flowering Peach is a small deciduous tree that grows rapidly, adding up to 4 feet of new growth a year and reaching 15 feet tall within 4 or 5 years, and 20 to 25 feet within a decade or so. It has a narrow upright form, with the branches growing vertically into a column. With maturity it will widen a little, developing a spread of up to 15 feet in time. It branches from low down, with a short trunk usually no more than 2 feet tall. The young branches are shiny green, touched with red on the sunny side. They mature to a gray-green and then turn gray-brown as they mature, developing a rugged and rough-textured bark with lots of character. The leaves are 5 to 6 inches long and 1½ to 2 inches wide, with a smooth surface and a pointed tip. The spring leaves are brightly colored a middle shade of purple, turning soft red as they mature. This color is kept well through the summer months, especially in cooler zones. In fall the leaves turn clear yellow.
Flowers appear between mid-March and mid-April in most areas, although it varies with yearly changes in the weather. The blossoms open all along the younger bare twigs, and they are abundant and large – a full 1½ inches across, packed with around 30 petals – making a beautiful fully-double blossom in a gorgeous shade of rich dark pink. The flowers are also fragrant, and all in all, just charming. Early pollinating bees and insects will visit the blooms. After about 2 weeks the petals begin to fall and the new leaves begin to appear. In some years a small quantity of fruits form, at first green and then yellow. These are small, just 1½ inches across, and although edible they are not appealing, with a slightly bitter taste, but perhaps they could be used for making chutney.
This lovely tree is perfect for quickly creating interest in a new garden, perhaps on a lawn or as an accent in a shrub bed. It could also be planted as an avenue or screen along a fence. Its narrow form makes it perfect in smaller spaces and smaller gardens. It could be grown in a large tub or planter box as well, and even turned into a fascinating bonsai tree. It does not have a long life – perhaps 20 years – so it is perfect for planting near slower growing but long-lived trees and shrubs, for interest and beauty while your garden matures.
The Corinthian Rose Flowering Peach is hardy all the way from zone 5 to cooler parts of zone 8, needing about 950 hours in winter below 45 degrees.
Plant this tree in full sun for the best blooming and growth. The soil should be well-drained, but otherwise this tree grows in just about all garden conditions, including urban gardens and poor soils. Once established it has some drought resistance.
The Corinthian Rose Flowering Peach has moderate resistance to disease and because the fruit is not the goal of growing, it doesn’t suffer badly from pests or disease problems. Pruning is not needed, but it could be trimmed after blooming, for a more compact or neater shape.
The Peach, Prunus persica, is better known to us for its delicious edible fruits. It probably originated in northwest China, and the blossoms are often featured in classic Chinese art. Most attention in breeding has been give to creating better fruit, but ornamental forms have been grown for a long time. In 1983 the team at the Sandhills Research Station in Jackson Springs, part of the North Carolina State University, began breeding ornamental peaches. Dennis Werner, Steve Worthington, and Layne Snelling crossed together, using hand pollination, two trees – a nectarine called ‘NC174RL` and an upright peach tree from Japan designated as ‘Pillar’. They grew the seedlings, and then collected fruit from them once they began to bloom. From that seed they grew more seedlings, and from among those they selected four trees, all with a narrow columnar form, but with different flower colors. These were released in the late 1990s as the Corinthian Series, and among them one, with red leaves and bright pink flowers, stands out. It was patented as ‘Corinthian Rose’ in 2001.
This outstanding fast-growing ornamental tree is really worthwhile for its wonderful spring blooms and striking narrow form, yet it is rarely available. We grabbed the great plants we found, but our stock is limited. Order now, but they won’t be around much longer.