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How to spot different types of blossom

White and pink blossom on a tree in spring
Blossom at Stowe in Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Do you know your damson from your blackthorn? Blossom comes in many shapes, sizes and colours, and telling them apart can be challenging. Find out how to spot different types of blossom in your local area with this blossom-spotting guide.

Blossom to spot in fruit trees

A spray of white blossom flowers hanging down from a dark grey branch, set against a bright blue sky
Cherry blossom in April | © National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott


Many garden varieties of cherry blossom are of Japanese origin and are also known as sakura or village cherries. You can see wild cherry blossom in woodlands during March, April and sometimes May.

White blossom buds and open flowers, tinged with pink, on an apple tree branch
Apple blossom in April | © National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott


Apple blossom is white with a hint of pink. Appearing from March to April, it grows in hedgerows, gardens, orchards and scrubland.

A small spray of cup-shaped blossoms, white with a slight pink tinge, on a branch with green leaves, set against a bright blue sky
Pear blossom in April | © National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott


Pear trees were introduced to Britain in around AD 995. The delicate white flowers emerge from green buds in March or April, and some varieties grow in gardens, orchards and along the streets.

A bee hunts for pollen in medium-sized open white blossoms with a dark pink centre
The blossom of a purple-leaved plum (Prunus pissardii) in March | © National Trust Images/Alana Wright


You can see plum trees in gardens and orchards, as well as near hedges and areas of scrubland where plum stones may have been dropped. The flowers are white and bloom around March and April.

Close-up image of open, white, five-petalled blossom flowers with white stamens and yellow pollen
Damson blossom in April | © National Trust Images/John Miller


Damson trees are small and hardy with dark green, oval shaped leaves with a lightly serrated edge. They blossom with small white flowers in early April. You can often find it in mixed woodlands, hedgerows, parks, gardens and along pavements.

Blossom to spot in hedgerows and woodland

Grey fluffy buds burst from a slim twig, some of them into masses of white stamens topped with yellow pollen
Goat willow (Salix caprea) in April | © National Trust Images/Clive Whitbourn

Goat willow

Some types of willow appear in January, but goat willow stands out in March and April. You can often find it in damp woodland areas or near streams and ditches.

Open white blossom flowers, with white stamens with yellow balls of pollen on the end
Blackthorn blossom in March | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole


Blackthorn bursts into flower in March with white blossom appearing before the leaves. You can find it in hedgerows and scrub, and it likes to be in bright sunlight.

Open white blossom flowers each with five, small, cup-shaped petals, and brown-tipped stamens, set against dark green leaves
Hawthorn blossom in May | © National Trust Images/Mel Peters


The fragrant pinkish-white hawthorn flowers appear in April and May, so it’s also known as the mayflower. You can often find it in hedgerows, on the edges of woodlands and in scrubland.

Share your blossom photos

We’d love to see the blossom you find near you. Tag your posts with #BlossomWatch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to spread the joy of blossom.

A path leading into a leafy glade dappled with sunlight, a shrub with pink flowers in the middle with blue flowers below

Trees and plants

We care for 25,000 hectares (61,776 acres) of woodland, 135 wild landscape sites and more than 200 gardens, and have as many wonderful stories to tell.

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