This is not a cherry blossom

Ahhh, spring. It’s that special time of year in DC when cars are covered in green tree-snot and people are covered in plain, old regular snot. Magical, indeed.

It’s also time for the mysterious and beautiful blossoming of the famous Japanese cherry trees. People travel from near and far to bask in the highly allergenic but serene beauty of those soft pink blooms.

Most know that the trees were a gift from Japan to the United States symbolizing unity and friendship. What most don’t know is that President Taft the original gift —all two thousand trees — set on fire. In what has come to be known as the S’more Scandal of 1912, President Taft invited all the Members of Congress and the Supreme Court Justices over for a bonfire on the White House lawn. He thought, “What says friendship more than gooey, decilious s’mores?” Upon learning of his mistake, Taft sent the Emperor of Japan a recording of the fireside song he wrote about Japanese unity and the Emperor forgave him.


Taft did burn the trees but because they were infested with bugs. Gross! It’s ok though. Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki sent over 3,000 even better trees that now line the Tidal Basin and surround areas.

In the over hundred years since cherry tree fever struck DC, flowering trees have become all rage. But be careful! There are loads of imposter trees out there. This is guide to help Washingtonians and visitors alike sort out what is and most definitely is NOT a cherry tree.

So without further ado — This is not a cherry blossom.

This is not a cherry blossom, it’s a the flowering dogwood.

This is not a cherry blossom, it’s a magnolia. One of the most sneaky imposters.

This is not a cherry blossom, it’s a redbud. See how sneaky!

This is not a cherry blossom, it’s a crabapple (not crabby or an apple… strange)

This is not a cherry blossom, it’s a can of soup (C’mon you couldn’t figure that out!)

And this finally this is the majestic Cherry Tree

So remember when you’re taking a selfie with your sweetheart, cherry blossoms are the little pink ones. Or don’t because all these trees are really fucking pretty.