Yesterday’s news – single whites

April 6, 2024. Still catching up here, with everything blooming at once – at least mid-season and late-season trees. Here are some single White flowers, all pretty rare in this area, with the top one just added. The ones with “nioi’ or “no-o” in their names are fragrant, a fairly unusual feature of cherry trees.

‘Sendai-shidare’ are easily distinguished from the others here – they are usually short dense pendulous trees with thick very contorted limbs.


The wizened ‘Jo-nioi’, at the RCMP Headquarters property has sent up a new shoot. Here’s hoping the only other known example in Vancouver does the same. This looks similar to the ‘Washi-no-o’ featured just below, but it blooms later and the flowers are more likely to show the extra half-petals you can see in this photo.


‘Washi-no-o’ are fairly rare, but our Cherry Scouts have found ten locations in the area. The name means “eagle’s tail”, suggestive of the ruffled petal edges.


‘Surugadai-nioi’, only two known so far, one very private tree in Fairview, and its offspring at UBC Botanical Garden.

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20240322 UBCBG Surugadai-nioi Willard IMG_8937

‘Umineko’ are usually older trees than ‘Snow Goose’ but their parents are the same and they look identical. The young ones that come in labelled ‘Snow Goose’ get that name. Note the round overlapping petals that result in fat stars in the centres. Young trees are distinctively narrow and upright. Here are
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Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Yesterday’s news – pink cascades

April 12, 2023. Pink blossoms today, on weeping cherry trees. “Shidare” (drooping) in Japanese cherry blossom names is used to describe the tree form called “weeping” in English.

So, ‘Beni-shidare’ can be described as the Red Cascade, which is much more poetic than Red Weepings and more in line with how Taki-zakura was named, the Waterfall Cherry of Miharu that is a 1,000 year-old ‘Beni-shidare.’ Certainly none of Miharu’s visitors would think of weeping.

Here are ‘Beni-shidare’ flowers, single blossoms (five petals).


Where this large tree is located on East Culloden Street in Vancouver, right next to it, and of similar size, is a ‘Yae-beni-shidare’, with double pink flowers – “yae” refers to the double flowers.


Yesterday’s news – ‘Afterglow’

April 9, 2023. It was several years before our Cherry Scouts found ‘Afterglow’ trees. They were all listed as ‘Akebono’, and indeed they are a different cultivar of the same Prunus yedoensis species, and they bloom at roughly the same time. They have a similar habit (shape), but the flowers are smaller and much more pink. The petals are round enough to overlap. Thanks to Anne Eng for this photo.


Yesterday’s news – pendulous (weeping) trees, pink and white

April 3, 2023. In the previous posting, we have featured single white blossoms that can be seen around town now, or coming soon. You can find the most recent posting at Yesterday’s news – single white flowers – Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival ( Today we feature two similar weeping trees, one a white one not shown yesterday, and the other the same species but a pink cultivar that we have featured here before. Thanks to Shirley Willard for both photos.

Both these trees with a pendulous (weeping) shape have the botanical name Prunus itosakura Pendula Group. This does not seem to be a registered cultivar, so we are calling it ito-zakura, meaning thread cherry, as it is known in Japan. It is not all that common in the wild, but it is available from landscaping suppliers in white or light pink.

20230331 MedusaWOceanview Ito-zakura Willard IMG_1548
20230331 MedusaWOceanview Ito-zakura Willard IMG_1548

Much more widely planted is the Prunus itosakura cultivar ‘Beni-shidare’, also called ‘Pendula Rosea’, with its showy deep-pink flowers.

20230401 SylvanDrECherylAnnParRd Beni-shidare Willard IMG_1625
20230401 SylvanDrECherylAnnParRd Beni-shidare Willard IMG_1625
Cherry Scouts Photos

Blooming Now: a visual timeline for cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver

This visual timeline features the estimated blooming period for ten of the most common cultivars of cherry trees in Vancouver: Whitcomb, Beni-Shidare, Accolade, Akebono, Umineko / Snow Goose,  Shirotae, Shirofugen, Kanzan, Kiku-shidare-zakura, Shogetsu.

Happy cherry blossom viewing!

(Click the image to expand the timeline)

Timeline of Vancouver Cherry Blossoms blooming date for 2020. Photos by Jessica Tremblay, dates from


Cherry Scouts Photos

Early Bloomers

Vancouver Whitcomb cherry trees at Nicola park

“The three straggly ‘Whitcomb’ at Nicola Mini-Park are also showing signs of pink. ” – (Willard)

When this posting went up on the VCBF Neighbourhood Blogs forum on January 12, I felt a shiver of excitement down my spine: “Cherry blossom season has begun!”

The Whitcomb cherry trees at Nicola Park are one of the first cherry trees to bloom in Vancouver. When their tiny, deep pink cherry blossoms are open, it officially marks the start of our “pink wave” here in Vancouver (a pink wave that will reach its peak during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in April).


Whitcomb cherry blossoms are blooming mid-February to mid-March.  They purple pink flowers are small and photogenic.  Use the Neighbourhood Maps to locate a Whitcomb tree near you, grab your camera, and rejoice: Vancouver cherry blossom viewing has begun!

[Photos: Jessica Tremblay]

Arts & Crafts Haiku Merchandise Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura Days Japan Fair 2018

Sakura Days Japan Fair gave visitors a chance to experience Japan with hands-on workshops (calligraphy, origami, haiku) and amazing performances.  What a fabulous week-end!

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Several tree talks and walks were lead by Van Dusen garden volunteers. There were lots of cherry trees to talk about including the beautiful tai-haku (great white cherry).

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The winning haiku from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2017 were displayed in the garden for everyone to read and enjoy.

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At the Haiku House, you could attend a workshop, try your hand at writing a haiku, make a button, or take a guided walk to the haiku rock.

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The food was a major draw.

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Outdoor demonstrations included the forging of Japanese knives by knifewear.


If you preferred to be inside, you could visit the vendors and pick up a petal mat or guide to Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver at the VCBF table.

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People gathered on the hill, sitting on petal mats, to watch the show on the cherry stage.


During her calligraphy demo,Kisyuu disappeared behind the canvas to paint the back of the canvas while the picture was slowly revealed to the audience at the front.


Hojo Hand-Crafted Samurai Armor Corps grabbed visitors’ attention as they walked to the stage to perform an elaborate play in full costumes.

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Two performers from Japan, Keita Kanazashi on the Japanese Drum and Kohei Honda on the shamisen, drew a big crowd with their amazing energy.

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Outdoor performances kept us dancing until 7 pm.

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The event ended with lantern procession from the Cherry Stage to the Visitor Centre.

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Sakura Days Japan Fair is two-day festival organized by the Japan Fair Association of Vancouver as part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. It took place at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden.

People who attended Saturday were able to walk over to Queen Elizabeth park to see the Sakura Illuminations.

Cherry Scouts Photos

Whitcomb cherry trees at Nelson and Bute

This Whitcomb cherry tree at the corner of Nelson and Bute seems to be overtaken by vines.


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From the park across the street, you can take nice photos of the blossoms with apartment buildings in the background.

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It’s nice to see Whitcomb cherry trees are finally starting to bloom after a pretty harsh winter in Vancouver (lots of snow!) Use the VCBF neighbourhood map to find Whitcomb cherry trees in Vancouver. Happy cherry blossom viewing!

Cherry Scouts Photos

Whitcomb cherry trees at Nicola and Beach

These Whitcomb cherry trees, located in front of a beautiful apartment building at Nicola and Beach, will please photographers.

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You can snap pictures of the blossoms and capture the nice architectural details on the building.

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There are plenty of blossoms at this location.

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Fallen cherry blossoms are covering the sidewalk.

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There are two more Shirofugen cherry trees (not in bloom) on each side of the main steps. When they bloom, this will be a spectacular photo opportunity!

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The building was so beautiful. Across the street, there was a woman capturing the scene in watercolour painting.

This location is only steps away from the seawall. Visit soon. The tree is about 50% bloom.

Cherry Scouts Photos

Whitcomb cherry trees at Nicola and Pendrell

You can always count on the Whitcomb cherry trees located at Nicola and Pendrell to announce the beginning of the Vancouver cherry blossom season: they’re the first cherry trees to bloom in the city.

Whitcomb cherry trees on Nicola and Pendrell

The Whitcomb cherry blossoms are currently 40% open and worth a visit if you’re in the Vancouver West-End area.

20170225_Nicola_Pendrell_whitcomb_tremblay_IMG_3662 Whitcomb cherry trees on Nicola and Pendrell

Due to the presence of many electrical wires, you’ll need to zoom to get good pictures.

20170225_Nicola_Pendrell_whitcomb_tremblay_IMG_7029 Whitcomb cherry trees on Nicola and Pendrell

Don’t forget to look at your feet: the fallen blossoms can make good photos too.

Whitcomb cherry trees on Nicola and Pendrell 20170225_Nicola_Pendrell_whitcomb_tremblay_IMG_7012

Use the VCBF neighbourhood map to locate Whitcomb cherry trees in your area.

Happy cherry blossom viewing!