Celebrate Peak Bloom With Ten Fun Facts About Cherry Blossoms
by Lily Katzman/Smithsonianmag.com
Every spring, the 3,800 cherry trees along Washington, D.C.’s Tidal Basin burst into symphony of pink-and-white blossoms. Because this picturesque period lasts, on average, just four to seven days, the spectacle is a much-anticipated annual event, with local horticulturalists and cherry blossom enthusiasts alike predicting the timing of peak bloom ahead of the National Park Service’s (NPS) official announcement.
This year, reports the NPS, peak bloom—when more than 70 percent of Yoshino cherry trees, the most common species in the area, open their buds—is projected to begin between March 27 and 30.
The floral explosion and accompanying National Cherry Blossom Festival draw more than a million visitors to the city each year. The festival commemorates the cherry trees’ 1912 arrival in D.C.; Tokyo’s mayor, Yukio Ozaki, gifted 3,020 cherry blossoms to the capital as a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan.
In honor of today’s peak bloom announcement, Smithsonian magazine has compiled a list of ten fun facts highlighted in Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections From the Library of Congress, a new offering from Smithsonian Books that invites readers to learn about the trees’ history through original artwork, artifacts and photographs.