Plum Blossom vs Cherry Blossom: Is There a Difference?
Plum Blossom vs Cherry Blossom: Is There a Difference?

Plum Blossom vs Cherry Blossom: Is There a Difference?

When it comes to telling the difference between a plum blossom and a cherry blossom, how can you tell which blossom is which? Plum and cherry blossom viewing is extremely popular around the world, but do you know what tree you’re looking at when you choose to participate in these activities? How can you tell which flower is a plum blossom and which is a cherry blossom?

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In this article, we will compare and contrast plum blossoms with cherry blossoms so that you can fully understand the differences between them. We’ll cover their cultural significance as well as what these beautiful flowers look like in case you plan to attend any cherry or plum blossom viewing events in the coming years. Let’s get started now!

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Comparing plum blossom to cherry blossom

Plum blossom vs cherry blossom
Plum blossoms are more rounded compared to the oval shaped cherry blossom.

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Plum blossom Cherry flower
Classification of plants Prunus husband Prunus serrulata
Description Single, rounded buds sprout beautiful pink, red or white flowers. These flowers have rounded petals and do not cluster, given their full, rounded appearance. The light smell is pleasant and mild, and the trees they grow on usually have red leaves. Clustered, oval-shaped buds sprout delicate pink or white flowers. These flowers have petals with a distinct notch at their ends, and the flowers are often clustered on a single branch. It rarely has a very noticeable scent, and the trees it grows on usually have green leaves.
applications Worshiped in many different cultures, primarily Chinese and Vietnamese. The flowers and fruits are used to make a variety of drinks and foods, as well as some significant uses in Chinese medicine. Revered and renowned for their impermanence primarily in Japanese culture, but also holds significance throughout the world. Petals are often salted and pickled, used in spirits, teas and confectionary settings. The fruit is primarily inedible.
Origin and breeding preferences Originally from China; prefers full sun and an area without too much wind Originally from China; very flexible in the place where they are planted, depending on the variety, but they prefer fertile soil
Flowering period of the year January-early March March to May

The key differences between plum blossom and cherry blossom

Plum blossom vs cherry blossom
While both of these trees are native to China, cherry blossoms have significant cultural importance in Japan, while plum blossoms are more relevant in China and Vietnam.

iStock.com/:Masaaki Ohashi

There are a number of key differences between plum blossoms and cherry blossoms. For example, plum blossoms are more rounded compared to the oval-shaped cherry blossom. While both of these trees are native to China, cherry blossoms have significant cultural importance in Japan, while plum blossoms are more relevant in China and Vietnam. Cherry blossom petals have a distinct notch at the end of each petal, while plum blossom petals are entirely round.

Let’s go over all these differences in more detail now.

Plum Blossom vs Cherry Blossom: Ranking

Plums and cherries are very closely related to each other, belonging to the same plant family and genus. However, they are different varieties from each other, despite the fact that both are ornamental trees. For example, plum blossom trees are usually classified as Prunus husbandwhile cherry blossom trees are usually classified as Prunus serrulata.

Plum Blossom vs Cherry Blossom: Description

Plum blossom vs cherry blossom
If you smell either of these two flowers, plum blossoms usually have a stronger scent compared to the delicate cherry blossom.

iStock.com/ruiruito

While it can be difficult to tell the difference between plum blossoms and cherry blossoms when they are in full bloom, there are a few key characteristics to look out for. For example, plum blossoms are more rounded, both in bud and in bloom, compared to the oval-shaped cherry blossom. Additionally, plum blossom leaves are red most of the time, while cherry blossom leaves are usually green.

One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a cherry blossom and a plum blossom is to look at the petals. Cherry blossom petals have a distinct notch or cut at the end of each petal, while plum blossom petals remain uniformly round. If you smell either of these two flowers, plum blossoms usually have a stronger scent compared to the delicate cherry blossom.

Plum Blossom vs Cherry Blossom: Uses

Plum blossom vs cherry blossom
Cherry blossom petals have a distinct notch or cut at the end of each petal, while plum blossom petals remain uniformly round.

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Plum blossoms and cherry blossoms are prized around the world for their cultural significance and overall beloved impermanence. The flowering seasons of both trees are very short, making them culturally relevant for several reasons. In the grand scheme of both trees, cherry blossoms are highly significant in Japanese culture, while plum blossoms are more significant in Chinese and Vietnamese culture.

In terms of their uses, both plum blossoms and cherry blossoms have some culinary significance. However, plum blossoms usually produce edible fruit, while ornamental cherry blossoms do not. This means that plum blossoms are used in culinary capacities more than cherry blossoms, although both have their merits and uses in the kitchen, usually in drinks and sweets.

Plum Blossom vs Cherry Blossom: Origin and How to Grow

Although you might be surprised to hear this, both plum blossoms and cherry blossoms are native to China. Although they grow all over the world these days, this is where they are both native to. You can grow plum and cherry in a variety of locations, usually in full sun and away from any major currents.

Plum Blossom vs Cherry Blossom: Blooming Time of the Year

Plum blossom vs cherry blossom
Depending on the region and the weather, plums bloom anywhere from January to early March, while cherry trees bloom from late March to early May.

iStock.com/TokioMarineLife

A final key difference between plum blossoms and cherry blossoms is the time of year they bloom. Given the cultural significance of these short-lived beauties, knowing when they bloom is essential. For the most part, plum blossom trees bloom a little earlier in the year compared to cherry blossom trees.
Depending on the region and the weather, plums bloom anywhere from January to early March, while cherry trees bloom from late March to early May.

Some plum and cherry blossom varieties only bloom for a week or less. However, climate change has altered the time at which both of these trees flower, as their flowering dates have increased year by year.