Cherry versus Plum Blossoms: What’s the Difference?

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 tree

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossoms have a small split at the end of each petals.

Bark on the trunk of a cherry tree

The bark of the cherry tree often have small horizontal lines on it.

Akebono cherry bud at Burrard skytrain station.

More than one cherry will come out of a cherry bud.

Cherry blossoms with green leaves

The leaves of cherry trees are green and unfolding.

Plum blossoms

Plum blossom

Plum blossoms don’t have any split at the end of the petals.

Plum blossom

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

Plum blossoms have a very fragrant smell (they smell “flowery”).

Bark on plum tree

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?


Answer: plum.

(No split at the end of the petals).


Answer: cherry.

Split at the end of the petals.


Answer: plum.

Red leaves and no split at the end of the petals.

Akebono cherry blossom at Burrard skytrain station.

Answer: cherry.

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