The other day, seeing this article in the Washington Post reminded me of my days at the National Arboretum (USNA) when the Arboretum cherry trees as well as the tidal basin ones are in full bloom. Here’s the article from the Post about Roland Jefferson, a retired USNA Botanist:
(it will be freely available for the next few days)
A while back, I asked for his great little book on the history of the cherry trees and an National Arboretum Contributions publications entitled, The Japanese flowering cherry trees of Washington, D.C. : a living symbol of friendship to be scanned for the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Right now, it is also available in the Internet Archive, if you would like to download and read it. It makes a great subway read:
The Smithsonian Libraries has several books on cherry trees—history, symbolism, gardening, and biology in its various Branches. Keyword either “cherry blossom” singular or plural to discover more on Prunus x yedoensis (cv. Yoshino or Somei-Yoshimo) and its taxonomic relatives.
Finally, not only is the Cherry Blossom festival underway, but it’s the 100th anniversary of this wonderful gift from Japan. Japan, first sent us the trees in 1909 but those had to be destroyed; it is the second gift given to our Nation in 1912 we celebrate today. Because it is a special anniversary, the festival is scheduled from March 20th to April 27th this year.
Learn more at : http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/
-Robin Everly, Branch librarian, Botany-Horticulture Library