Plum blossoms

>> Monday, March 21, 2011

Prunus mume, commonly known as Japanese apricot, or Chinese plum is a species of Asian plum in the family Rosaceae. The flower, long a beloved subject in the traditional painting of East Asia and Vietnam, is usually translated as plum blossom.

The plum is associated with the start of spring, because they are some of the first blossoms to open during the year. The Japanese Plum or Ume, has played an important role in Japan for many centuries. In the Tokyo area, they typically flower in February and March. The event is celebrated with plum festivals (ume matsuri) in public parks, shrines and temples across Japan.

Like Japanese cherry trees, plum trees come in many varieties, many of which were cultivated by humans over the centuries. Most plum blossoms have five petals and range in color from white to dark pink. Some varieties with more than five petals (yae-ume) and weeping branches (shidare-ume) have also been cultivated. Unlike Japanese Cherry Blossoms, Japanese Plum Blossoms have a strong fragrance.

The photo above is taken from inside our house. A view of the quiet street can be seen as our plum blooms. Sign of spring, now a sign of hope.


Kate March 22, 2011 at 7:15 AM  

The blossoms are quite lovely! Spring is my favorite time of year for the obvious reasons of regrowth, which your photo so beautifully documents.

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