These beautiful artworks in the cherry trees can be seen at Commercial & Napier: “Godsai” facilitated by Helen Spaxman, and sponsored by Britannia Community Centre Arts and Culture Committee. Photos by East Van blossom spotter Vicki McCullough.
During the Blossom Biology workshop on April 11, Douglas Justice introduced us to the different parts of a cherry blossom.
I discovered there are much more to cherry blossoms than the flowers: the bud scales open up and out come the peduncle, the bracts, the pedicels, then the blossoms.
It takes lots of energy for a cherry tree to grow blossoms!
PS Douglas showed us an illustration from a book but since I couldn’t use that illustration, I’ve created my own identification slide using a picture of budding Kanzan cherry blossom.
In Vancouver, it’s that time of the year when plum blossoms and cherry blossoms are blooming at the same time. How can you tell the difference between cherry and plum blossoms? Here are a few pointers:
Cherry blossoms have a small split at the end of each petals.
The bark of the cherry tree often have small horizontal lines on it.
More than one cherry will come out of a cherry bud.
The leaves of cherry trees are green and unfolding.
Plum blossoms don’t have any split at the end of the petals.
There is only one plum blossom coming out of the bud.
Plum blossoms have small purple leaves that are unrolling.
(Although some varieties of white plum blossoms will have small green leaves).
Plum blossoms have a very fragrant smell (they smell “flowery”).
The bark on a plum tree is darker and does not have distinctive horizontal line on it.
Think you got it? Take the test!
Cherry or plum blossoms?
(No split at the end of the petals).
Split at the end of the petals.
Red leaves and no split at the end of the petals.
Horizontal lines on the bark.
Want to learn more? Become a cherry scout.
You might also like: How to tell the difference between cherry trees and plum trees (infographic) and Plum trees versus cherry trees: how to tell the difference and identify them
After five years of cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver, I’ve learned two things:
So if you’re lucky enough to have both sunshine AND cherry blossoms, you just have to pick up your camera and go because it’s a scientific fact that cherry blossoms won’t wait for you and the next day will (probably) be overcast.
Yesterday I picked up my camera to visit the Accolade cherry tree on Richards (corner Robson) for the third time. This Accolade tree (which is blooming exceptionally early) is doing well.
As some petals fall gently with the breeze, new blossoms are opening. It is not fully bloomed yet.
The cherry tree is surrounded by tall buildings in Downtown Vancouver so the tree will be in the shade for most of the day. The best time to go is between 3.00-4.00 when the sun shines directly on the tree from down the street. (All these pictures were taken between 3.15-3.30pm.)
As I was taking picture, a passerby shouted: “YEAH! SPRING!”
So get out there Vancouver and say hello to spring! (We’re lucky to have cherry blossom blooming so early this season!)
Wendy Cutler intrigued me with the photo of an Autumnalis Rosea (a winter blooming cherry tree) that she shared with us on January 13. The picture showed a small tree with tiny pink blossoms near the completely frozen lagoon. Brrr!
I’ve never seen an Autumnalis Rosea cherry tree, so I decided to go take a look today.
Autumnalis Rosea, may not be as spectacular as other cultivars – the petals look a bit messy, often appearing twisted, and the branches are twiggy and untidy – but I found them really charming and worth a visit.
Location: West End/Stanley Park – Lost Lagoon near daycare, 3 trees.
Here are some pictures taken today: