Bloom Watch

2017 National Park Service
Tidal Basin Welcome Area
March 18-April 2

Peak bloom was reached on Saturday, March 25;
the bloom typically last 4-7 days
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The Peak Bloom Date and Blooming Period

The peak bloom date is defined as the day when 70% of the Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) blossoms are open. Peak bloom varies annually depending on weather conditions. The most likely time to reach peak bloom is between the last week of March and the first week of April. Extraordinary warm or cool temperatures have resulted in peak bloom as early as March 15 (1990) and as late as April 18 (1958).

The Yoshino trees typically bloom for a period of several days. The length of the blooming period depends on weather conditions. Cool, calm weather can extend the length of the bloom, and a rainy, windy day can bring an abrupt end to the ephemeral blossoms. A late frost can prevent the trees from blooming at all.

Forecasting peak bloom is almost impossible more than 10 days in advance. The cherry trees' blossom development is dependent on weather conditions, which are inherently variable. National Park Service horticulturists monitor bud development and report the status of the blossoms. The following table shows bud development data for Yoshino cherry trees, the most common trees in the park.

Year Green Buds Florets Visible Extension of Florets Peduncle Elongation Puffy White Peak Bloom
2017 Feb 24 Mar 1 Mar 6 Mar 8 Mar 22* Mar 25*
2016 Mar 8 Mar 13 Mar 15 Mar 17 Mar 22 Mar 25
2015 Mar 18 Apr 1 Apr 4 Apr 6 Apr 8 Apr 10
2014 Mar 16 Mar 23 Mar 31 Apr 4 Apr 7 Apr 10
2013 Mar 11 Mar 17 Mar 26 Mar 31 Apr 4 Apr 9
2012 Feb 29 Mar 8 Mar 12 Mar 14 Mar 15 Mar 20
2011 Feb 28 Mar 9 Mar 16 Mar 19 Mar 22 Mar 29
2010 Mar 14 Mar 19 Mar 21 Mar 23 Mar 26 Mar 31
2009 Mar 3 Mar 12 Mar 18 Mar 23 Mar 27 Apr 1
2008 Feb 19 Mar 11 Mar 17 Mar 18 Mar 24 Mar 26
2007 Mar 5 Mar 20 Mar 25 Mar 27 Mar 28 Apr 1
2006 Feb 28 Mar 13 Mar 14 Mar 16 Mar 22 Mar 30
2005 Mar 7 Mar 22 Mar 31 Apr 3 Apr 4 Apr 9
2004 Mar 4 Mar 12 Mar 15 Mar 22 Mar 27 Mar 31
Please note: Dates reflect when 70% of the Tidal Basin yoshino cherry tree buds have reached the designated stage. You may see individual trees reach the designated stage before or after the date recorded.


* Approximately half of the Yoshino blossoms were lost due to a late frost that occurred March 14-16, 2017. Puffy white and peak bloom are defined as when 70% of the surviving blossoms reach those stages.

Green Bud

Stage 1 Green Bud

Florets Visible

Stage 2 Florets Visible

Extension of Florets

Stage 3 Extension of Florets

Peduncle Elongation

Stage 4 Peduncle Elongation

Puffy White

Stage 5 Puffy White