DC cherry blossoms hit peduncle elongation stage

It almost sounds like a phrase you shouldn’t say in polite company, but D.C.’s cherry blossoms have reached stage four of six: peduncle elongation.

The National Park Service made the announcement Thursday on Twitter.

Peduncle elongation is the stage before the arrival of puffy white, and then peak bloom. Peduncle is the stalk bearing a flower or fruit.

The blossoms are expected to reach peak bloom between March 22 and March 25. But bear in mind: That’s a prediction, not a guarantee.

West Basin Drive is closed for the setup of the Tidal Basin welcome area, which opens this Saturday.

Among the festival’s first official events will be the Cherry Blossom Family Celebration at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Saturday, and the ticketed opening ceremony at the Warner Theatre on Sunday.

If you don’t have tickets to Sunday’s event, you can watch a livestream on the festival’s YouTube channel. See a list of events on the festival’s website.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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