The petaled Gyoko cherry blossom was just too eccentric for D.C. All 18 Gyoko trees from Japan's original gift have since died. (Melanie-Choukas-Bradley) The green-petaled Gyoiko cherry blossom must have been too eccentric for D.C. All 18 Gyoiko trees from Japan’s original gift have since died. (Melanie-Choukas-Bradley)

Aside from their common color, beauty and ability to snarl traffic, the different varieties of cherry blossoms are as unique as snowflakes. Actually, some cherry blossoms aren’t even pink — the Gyoiko, for instance, is green. Unfortunately, that level of eccentricity wasn’t able to take root in D.C. All 18 of the Gyoiko trees planted in the White House garden in 1912 have since died. (Or perhaps they just moved to Baltimore.) Still, there are more than a dozen varieties of flowering cherry trees in the District, each with its own distinct personality. With this handy quiz, created with the help of Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of “City of Trees” and “A Year in Rock Creek Park,” you can discover your flowering-tree alter ego just in time to go petal peeping.


Spring came early this year. You'll celebrate by:

Waking before sunrise to beat the crowds to the Tidal Basin.

Taking an Odyssey Cherry Blossom Festival dinner cruise. Where else to wear that new hot-pink frock?

Appreciating our native flora in Rock Creek Park, and leaving the showy foreign blooms to the tourists.

Going to Dumbarton Oaks, the most gorgeous cherry show in town, situated in an elegant walled garden.


What’s your favorite cherry blossom-themed drink?

Sake blossoms (with raspberry liqueur and yuzu juice), sipped among the glitterati at the Willard InterContinental’s Round Robin bar.

Masa 14’s Rosy Rickey, with bourbon, cherry syrup, lime and soda. It’s bold and effervescent, just like me.

Cherry drink specials are the scourge of spring. I’ll be having Japanese whiskey at Daikaya, thank you very much.

The cherry-free Professor at Espita Mezcaleria, a surprising concoction of mezcal, Japanese whiskey and chocolate bitters.


What’s your favorite official Cherry Blossom event?

The Cherry Blossom Parade — classic beauty and pageantry with appearances by Miss America, pop stars and the newly crowned Cherry Blossom Queen.

The wild, up-all-night Cherry Blast dance party, where I’m planning to win this year’s cosplay costume contest.

The Anacostia River Festival. Anacostia Park doesn’t have a lot of blossoms, but this year’s festival features canoeing, bird-feeder building and other back-to-nature activities.

The uplifting, cheerful Blossom Kite Festival, which turns the sky around the Washington Monument into a colorful kaleidoscope.


What’s your least favorite part of cherry blossom season?

That it ends. Cherry blossoms forever!

When babies held aloft by their parents photo-bomb my otherwise perfect cherry blossom selfie.

That it happens. Please just go away, cherry blossom tourist hordes.

When people blab about my secret spots. Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned Dumbarton Oaks.