Mar 16, 2022 - Things to Do

Peak bloom for Philly's cherry blossoms draws near

Cherry blossoms blooming in Philadelphia.
Cherry blossoms blooming in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia

Peak bloom for Philadelphia's cherry blossoms is nearly two weeks away.

What's happening: Sandi Polyakov, head gardener at the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, predicted Tuesday that peak bloom for most of the city's cherry blossoms will take place April 1, following a wave of warmer weather in the coming days.

  • Peak bloom for the large collections of cherry blossoms along the Schuylkill River and West Fairmount Park will happen later, around April 8.
  • "We've got a lot of great varieties dispersed across the city, and each one has its own timeline and personality," he said in a statement.

The intrigue: It's a bit later than past years. Philly's peak bloom typically occurs between March 22-26.

  • Cooler temps this winter are likely holding back the buds from blooming earlier in March, Andrew Bunting, vice president of public gardens and landscapes for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, told Axios.
  • "If we get a warm spell, that's when things will really get triggered," he said.

Between the lines: Once the buds pop, flowers stay on display for a week or up to two weeks, depending on the weather.

  • Philly's peak bloom is consistently a week and a half behind the famous cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., but earlier than in Philly's suburbs.

1 big bloom: We'll actually get to admire the petals together in person this year. The Shofuso center is bringing back its annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Fairmount Park — where most of the original trees Japan gifted to Philly in 1926 are planted.

  • The free event, which was canceled the last two years due to the pandemic, will run April 8-10.
  • It'll feature a concert series exploring the intersections of Japanese and African American communities, along with food and drinks.
  • Tickets required to enter the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center: $14 for adults, $9 for children and seniors.

Be smart: There are a number of other places to check out the city's cherry blossoms:

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that tickets are needed to enter the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center. The festival is free.

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