“Blossom”: When, Why and How to Use It?
Spring has arrived in Australia with the sign of cherry blossoms. Have you ever wondered why the flowers of cherry, peach, apple, etc. are called “blossoms” instead of “flowers”? This post attempts to remove your confusion by highlighting the differences between these two words.
By definition, blossom (n) is a small flower or the small flowers on a tree — for example, plum/cherry blossom. Flower (n) is the part of a plant often brightly coloured and growing at the end of a stem.
What is the difference?
1. Flowers are reproductive parts of seed-bearing plants. Though blossoms are also flowers, they are flowers of fruit-bearing trees that flourish in spring; for example, apple, apricot, cherry, pear, plum.
2. Most flowers are bigger, found in different colours and their petals last longer than blossoms. Meanwhile, blossoms are often smaller and pink in colour (sometimes white). You can see the flower petals of blossom trees under these trees as they tend to lose their light flower petals in the breeze.
3. As a verb (intr), flower is the process of flower formation while blossom is the process of development of flower. Flower also means developing naturally or fully; mature — for example, “His music talents flowered early”. Blossom, as v.intr, also means developing or coming to a promising stage (often followed by “into” or “out”) — for example, “Youth blossomed into maturity”.
4. Flower is also used as a transitive verb where it means decorating with flowers or with a floral pattern, eg. flowered wallpaper.
Originally published at scotsenglish.edu.au.