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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.

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 one of the easiest to spot, as it’s white with a hint of pink and a sweet fragrance. Appearing from March to April, it grows in hedgerows, gardens, orchards and scrubland. The leaves appear a few weeks before the flowers emerge.

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 February and March with white blossom appearing before the leaves. The petals are oval and long stamens tumble out from the centre. You can find it in hedgerows and scrub.

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


Look out for ornamental cherry trees in gardens and parks and wild cherry blossom around woodlands throughout March and April. They flower in shades of pink or white, sometimes with dense, frilly petals and sometimes with a single layer of petals. These subtly scented flowers appear before the leaves, hanging in umbrella-shaped clusters.

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 oval-shaped petals in early April. You can often find it in mixed woodlands, hedgerows, parks, gardens and along pavements.

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 highly scented hawthorn flowers from late April and into May, so it’s also known as the mayflower. You can often find it in hedgerows, on the edges of woodlands and in scrubland. Identify it by its small rounded white petals in groups of five around bright pink anthers.

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


The delicate white flowers of pear trees emerge from green buds in March or April, and some varieties grow in gardens, orchards and along the streets. Look out for dense clusters of white flowers with five petals and red anthers.

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. Keep an eye out for small, rounded clusters of fragrant white flowers blooming on dark branches around March and April.

Share your blossom photos

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