10 Cherry Trees You'll Spot in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.’s famed cherry blossom trees are predicted to reach peak bloom toward the end of March/early April for 2018, so here’s a rundown of the types of trees you can enjoy during this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, running from March 17 through April 15.

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Photo By: National Park Service

©National Park Service

Photo By: National Park Service

Photo By: National Park Service

Photo By: National Park Service

Photo By: National Park Service

Photo By: Ikuyan/Shutterstock

Photo By: Divedog/Shutterstock

Photo By: National Park Service

Photo By: National Park Service

Yoshino Cherry

In 1912, Japan gifted Washington, D.C. 12 different types of cherry trees; today, the Yoshino is one the most prevalent in D.C., numbering around 2,600, or 70 percent of all cherry trees. They’re distinguished by clusters of single white blossoms, creating a cotton-ball effect, with the showstopping majority located along the Tidal Basin. This variety is beloved in Japan, and its flowers emit a pleasant almond scent.

Kwanzan Cherry

Besides Yoshino, Kwanzan is the other popular variety you’ll find in D.C., and 414 dominate in East Potomac Park alone. Named after a Japanese mountain, it blooms about two weeks after the Yoshino, and its pink double blossoms almost resemble carnations.

Akebono Cherry

The Akebono blooms about the same time as the Yoshino, and as such more than 100 Akebono trees are mostly interspersed among the Yoshino trees in the Tidal Basin, with a few in East Potomac Park. Look for them near the John Ericsson Memorial. The pale pink Akebono cherries are actually a mutation of the Yoshino, and were cultivated in 1920.

Afterglow Cherry

Interestingly, there are only two Afterglow trees, both in East Potomac Park, and even though they hardly represent in D.C., in terms of popularity they’re actually replacing Akebono trees in the nursery scene. That’s because unlike Akebono, the Afterglow’s blossoms are a darker pink that doesn’t fade.

Autumn Flowering Cherry

Most of these, about 100, congregate on the Washington Monument grounds, with a handful located in East Potomac Park. Despite the name, the Autumn Flowering tree actually blooms year-round.

Weeping Cherry

Head to East Potomac Park and Tidal Basin to admire about 100 Weeping Cherry trees, which are found among the Yoshino, Akebono and Kwanzan trees. Unlike other cherry trees, the droopy Weeping Cherry’s flowers can range from white to dark pink and possess single or double blossoms. Note that they bloom about a week before the Yoshino trees.

Sargent Cherry

Look for the 21 Sargents, identified by their single petal, deep-pink blossom clusters, in East Potomac Park and Tidal Basin.

Fugenzo Cherry

Tidal Basin is home to 14 Fugenzo trees, which possess rose-colored clusters that lighten with age. It’s one of the oldest cultivated cherry trees in Japan, and former First Lady Helen Herron Taft is believed to have planted the first one in D.C.

Okame Cherry

Currently, there are 3,770 cherry trees in D.C. and only one lone Okame tree. Its small, bright pink flowers can be found in East Potomac Park and are usually the first tree to blossom.

Shirofugen Cherry

Like the Okame, there’s only one Shirofugen, and it’s notable since its large flowers blossom white, then turn pink with age. It’s also found in East Potomac Park, and tends to be one of the last to bloom. Although not pictured, also keep an eye out for the Takesimensis trees, a flood-tolerant variety near Hains Point and Usuzumi, distinguished by its flat top and V-shaped branches.

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