One essential feature of Japanese gardens is the flowering cherry tree. But the characteristic ornamental cherries used in Japanese gardens are not hardy in Finland, so alternatives are more than welcome. The Kurile cherry is one of the smallest and hardiest. It flowers in early May with faintly pink, almost white blossoms. Another colour show occurs in autumn when the leaves take on brilliant orange shades.
The species was originally brought to Europe from northern Japan, and it continues to be imported for nursery sales and landscaping. The plants at Mustila are from a different source: they were purchased as seed at the turn of the century from the Russian Far East, probably collected on Sakhalin or Kunashir Island. They come into leaf and also bloom slightly earlier than trees of nursery origin.