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In Photos: Stages of Cherry Blossom Blooms

Cherry blossom bloom

cherry blossoms, cherry blossom blooming

(Image credit: Irina Bak )


The beautiful blooms of the cherry blossom are one of the surest and most celebrated signs of spring.

Cherry blossom watchers eagerly monitor the stages that precede full bloom to see when the peak in blooming will be. Walk through the stages of blossoming with us in these photos.

Green buds

cherry blossoms, cherry blossom blooming

(Image credit: NPS)

Cherry blossoms emerge before the leaves on the trees do, and the first sign of their impending arrival are green buds on the branches of the tree.

Florets

cherry blossoms, cherry blossom blooming

(Image credit: NPS)

Anywhere between 12 and 17 days before peak bloom, florets become visible and then extend themselves from the buds.

Peduncle elongation

cherry blossoms, cherry blossom blooming

(Image credit: Anthony S. Aiello/Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania)

After cherry blossoms bud, they gradually grow into florets and then experience peduncule elongation, pictured here. At this point, the blossoms are about 12-17 days from peak bloom.

Puffy white

cherry blossoms, cherry blossom blooming

(Image credit: Anthony S. Aiello/Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania)

When cherry blossoms reach the puffy white stage, they are just four to six days to peak bloom.

Full bloom

cherry blossoms, cherry blossom blooming

(Image credit: Anthony S. Aiello/Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania)

How long the cherry flowers bloom depends on how long they have been exposed to cold temperatures. A warm spell in the 60s or 70s (Fahrenheit) will produce blooms lasting four to five days, while colder temperatures could extend the blooming period so it lasts between seven and 10 days.

Dancer

cherry blossoms, cherry blossom blooming

(Image credit: Irina Bak)


The cherry blossoms inspire festivals across the globe, including in Japan, Canada, New York, Washington, D.C., Georgia and (pictured) Philadelphia.