The blooming of the
cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. has come to symbolize the natural beauty of our nation's capital
city. The famous trees, a gift of Japan in 1912, signal Washington's beginning of spring with an explosion of life and
color that surrounds the Tidal Basin in a sea of pale pink and white blossoms. In 2018, the Tidal Basin Welcome Area
of the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be open from March 31-April 1 and April 7-15.
The Japanese word for the Cherry Blossom Tree is “Sakura”.
The flower of the Sakura symbolizes the life
cycle to the Japanese people, epitomizing the springs, summers, falls, and winters of the human life.
Trees do not produce edible fruits; smaller cherry fruits do grow, but these are typically only eaten by birds.
A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese cherry, Prunus serrulata,
which is called sakura after the Japanese. Currently it is widely distributed, especially in the temperate zone of the Northern
Hemisphere including Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, West Siberia, Iran, and Afghanistan. Along with the chrysanthemum, the cherry
blossom is considered the national flower of Japan.
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