Cherry blossoms are loved all over the world and each year, when in season, appearance is celebrated. They are a breath taking reminder that spring is has either arrived or is on its way. Below are facts that might interest anyone who like myself cannot get enough of these flowers.
Cherry blossoms produce flowers for a very short period of time during the year sometimes for as little as 2 weeks. The small delicate flowers are either pink or white or a mixture of both.
Most varieties of Cherry blossom trees that are cultivated for their flowers do not produce fruit.
Although cherry blossoms are popularly associated with Japan, it is believed that they are originally from the Himalayas. They thrive in the temperate zone and have thrived in various parts of the world including Japan, United States, China,India and Canada among others.
Cherry blossoms are the unofficial flowers of Japan. Although there are over 200 varieties in Japan, the variety that is the most popular is the Somei Yoshio, which has flowers that are mostly white with a few pale pink flowers.
In many countries, the time when the trees start to bloom is closely monitored by the public. In Japan, a tradition called Hanami is practiced where by people gather in parks and other viewing sports to enjoy the beautiful flowers.
The national cherry blossom festival is held every year in Washington to celebrate the first cherry blossom trees that were given as a gift by the mayor of Tokyo to mark the friendship between the 2 countries. This article by national geographic describes how the trees almost never made it to Washington. The first batch of trees had to be destroyed because they were infected by disease and how the second batch were almost not planted either.
Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC
Cherry tree can grow to various heights depending in the species. In their natural habitat some of them will grow as high as 75 feet while others peak at 25 feet. Dwarf trees are also popularly used for home gardens
In Japan, blossoms are not only enjoyed for their beautiful but have other uses as well; the flowers can be pickled and used to make a hot drink that is served on special occasions. The pickled leaves of the tree can also be used to wrap sweets. Apparently cherry blossoms are also used in the making of ice-cream.