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Blossom Brilliance: Embracing the Splendor of Cherry Blossom Season

Photo taken by @Kyle mcman on instagram

It's spring in the Nation’s Capital! Washinton D.C. is one of the best places in the country to view cherry blossoms in the spring. Every year the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in and around the Tidal Basin located near the famed National Mall. Numerous events take place, starting around March 20th and ending on April 14th. Thousands of people come from all over the country to view nature's great display.

The cherry blossoms, when in bloom, blanket the banks of the tidal basin and create clouds of pink and white throughout the D.C. area. There are a few varieties of cherry trees that you will see lining the shores of the Tidal Basin. The two most popular species you will encounter are the Yoshino Cherry tree also known as Prunus yedoensis and the Kwanzan Cherry also known as Prunus kanzan. The Yoshino cherry is characterized by its white cloudlike blooms. Yoshino was first created as a cultivar in Japan in the late 1800s and now is one of the most popular species of flowering cherry tree. The Yoshino can grow anywhere from 30' - 40' tall and spread just as wide. After they flower they produce a small dark cherry that is too bitter for humans but enjoyed thoroughly by our feathered friends.

The Kwanzan cherry tree is a smaller relative of the Yoshino. Native to Japan and named after Mt. Kanzan, the Kwanzan Cherry blooms a week or so after the Yoshino and pushes out dense pink clusters. They grow anywhere from 25' - 30' tall and spread the same dimensions. Where the Yoshino can predominantly be found along the banks of the Tidal Basin the Kwanzan dominates East Potomac Park. These are the two most prominent Cherry species in Washington D.C. but there are as many as 12 different species that intermix with the Kwanzan and Yoshino.

All of these species were originally brought over from Japan as a gift to the United States in the hope of ongoing friendship, this gift was given in the year of 1912. The best time to go and see these beautiful trees is now! Peak bloom came a little early this year due to a mild winter. Here's a map you can reference to locate the two species we touched on in this blog!


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