‘Shiro-fugen’ (white Buddha). A popular May-flowering Sato-zakura (Japanese village cherry) known from the 15th century, ‘Shiro-fugen’ is also known as ‘Fugenzo’. Both names commemorate the Bodhisattva Fugen who is often depicted riding atop a white elephant. The long phylloid (leafy) pistils commonly found in the centres of most flowers are reminiscent of elephant trunks. The double blossoms emerge from pink buds at the same time as the leaves are unfolding bronze-purple. When fully open, the flowers are nearly pure white, and contrast with the dark foliage. The leaves eventually turn green (more quickly with warmer temperatures) and the flowers gradually become increasingly pink before eventually falling. The cultivar is easily distinguished by its strong, tabular crown, and copiously produced, late, but exceptionally long-lasting flowers, which hang elegantly on long pedicels.