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Distinguishing Japanese Blossoms

It is spring down under in Australia and blossoms are appearing on trees. I have been wondering if any of the blossoms that I see are sakura (cherry blossoms). It can be hard to tell the three similar looking cherry blossoms, plum blossoms and peach blossoms apart so I did a bit of research to answer my own question.

If we can see the flowers closer, we can distinguish the three from the shape of their petals. Cherry blossoms have a cleft or indent at the tip of their petals. Plum blossoms have round shaped petals whereas peach blossoms have tear-drop shaped petals

left – plum, center – peach, right – cherry

Sometimes, it is not possible to go up close to inspect the shape of the petals so the other way to tell the blossoms apart is to look at the way the flowers are attached to the branches. Cherry blossoms has the longest stem with multiple flowers growing from the same stem, peach blossoms have shorter stems with normally two to three flowers sprouting from the same stem and plum blossoms have almost no stems and seems to be growing from the branch.

left – plum, center – peach, right – cherry

The colour of the flower is also a way to tell the blossoms apart but with all the inter-breeding going on, I don’t think that this is an easy method to distinguish the blossoms.

Now I should be able tell the three Japanese blossoms apart.

Cherry blossoms

Plum blossoms
Peach blossoms

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