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5 things you didn’t know about the cherry blossoms

360° cherry blossom sunrise timelapse

Get a 360° timelapse view of the #cherryblossoms peak bloom as the sun rose in the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. on March 26, 2016.Highlights to look out for, but let us know if we missed anything:- Cameras everywhere- Ducks hanging out nearby- Yoga under the blossoms- Engagement photoshoot

Posted by PBS NewsHour on Monday, March 28, 2016

Video of Washington’s Tidal Basin sunrise by Justin Scuiletti

As you gaze at this 360 degree video of the sun rising over the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., here are five facts about the Japanese flowers that you might not have known.

  • Travel writer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore is the founding mother of cherry blossoms to the district. In 1885, she arrived back to D.C. from a trip to Japan. Scidmore believed the cherry blossoms, or sakura in Japanese, would be a perfect addition to the barren, muddy parkland along the Potomac River.
  • In March 27, 1912, first lady Helen Taft and the Japanese Ambassador’s wife, Iwa Chinda, planted the first two of the 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin. Throughout the 1920s more trees were planted around the D.C. area, making them a photo stop for tourists.
  • This year’s peak bloom was March 25, 16 days earlier than last year’s peak bloom. Peak bloom means about 70 percent of the flowers are visible. If you missed it, they’ll still be around for several more days.
  • Each year with the blooming trees comes the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which is on April 16. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Park Service reminds visitors that the district is a no-fly zone for drones.
  • Over the 100-year history of the cherry blossoms in the nation’s capitol, the trees have been under attack several times. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, three days later someone chopped down four trees in a suspected act of retaliation. In 1999, four trees were felled again, this time by beavers who were promptly removed from the Tidal Basin.
The cherry blossom trees bloom along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., on March 23. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The cherry blossom trees bloom along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., on March 23. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

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