News & Politics

The Best Pre-Peak Bloom Cherry Blossom Phase Is Nearly Here

It's almost peduncle elongation time, people.

Soon. Photograph by Dennis Ludlow via iStock/Getty Images Plus.

The Yoshino cherry trees around DC’s Tidal Basin hit an important milestone Tuesday: They’re at the “florets extended” phase, the midpoint on their journey to peak bloom.

The cherry trees have rocketed through the stages of bloom, hitting “green buds” on March 1 and “florets visible” six days later. Now we’re already at “extension of florets”? They grow up so fast!

Anyway, true blossom heads know what’s in the mail: The absolute best pre-peak-bloom stage. I’m talking about “peduncle elongation,” people. That stage usually occurs a few days after extension of florets, and it usually heralds the imminent arrival of peak bloom. Elongate, you peduncles! We can’t wait to meet you.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.