Highlight of the Week: Cherry Blossoms!

March 22, 2020

Dear Members & Guests,

This time of year, the South Coast Botanic Garden is alive with a spectacular show of color, scent and beauty. We want to share this beauty with everyone even if you can’t be here in person to enjoy it!

Below are photos from the past few weeks in the Garden, and these blossoms have now fallen though there are more that seem ready to bloom any day now. Blossoms usually last less than a week, when they fall and are replaced by green leaves. There are more blossoms just beginning to bloom in the Rose Garden. It’s a spectacular show of beauty! The cherry blossom is a symbol of spring, a time of renewal, and the fleeting nature of life.

Typically in bloom February through March, cherry blossoms appear on stone-fruit trees. Peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums and cherries are classified as stone fruit because of the single, stone-like pit. The blossoms of these trees are usually white to pink in color, sometimes red. The blossoms each have five petals and grow in clusters of 3 to 5 flowers.

Cherry blossoms have long been associated with Japan but the trees are said to be native to the Himalayas. The blossoms are considered the national flower of Japan and are called “Sakura.” The cherry tree’s beautiful, short-lived blossoms have been celebrated for centuries in Japan. In Japanese culture cherry blossoms symbolize the ephemeral nature of life and marks the beginning of spring and are enjoyed with “hanami” where people gather for food, drinks, song and friendship.

At South Coast Botanic Garden, cherry blossoms can be found most prominently in the Rose Garden, Amphitheater area, Mediterranean Garden and Sakura Meadow. There are many other areas where cherry and stone-fruit trees can be found as well.