Confocal Microscopy Image Gallery
Plant Tissue Autofluorescence Gallery
Cherry Flower Bud
The term cherry is applied to the various trees classified in the genus Prunus and to the small sour or sweet fruits they bear. Most cherry trees are indigenous to the Northern Hemisphere, where they are commonly grown both as fruit trees and as ornamentals.
The flowers produced by cherry trees are prized for their delicate beauty. The small pink or white blossoms usually emerge in early spring, but do not remain intact for long since even gentle breezes can cause them to shed their elegant petals. The brief blooming of cherry trees is marked by festivities in many parts of the world, including Washington, DC.
The opening of cherry blossoms is also celebrated in Japan, where the flower is a treasured part of national culture. The cherry blossom, which is very beautiful but fleeting, was regarded as akin to a great samurai warrior’s life and has been the subject of countless works of Japanese art. At numerous sites around the country, people gather under cherry trees when they are in bloom, where they celebrate with picnics, parties, and festivals.
In the United States, the cherry tree is familiar from popular accounts of a young George Washington’s life. According to a well-known story, when Washington was a boy, he admitted to chopping down a cherry tree with the famous line, “I cannot tell a lie,” when his father asked him who had used his hatchet. The tale is commonly utilized to epitomize the first President’s honesty and character, but appears to be a completely fictionalized anecdote invented by Parson Mason Locke Weems, a biographer of Washington who is believed to have embellished upon the founding father’s life to make it more interesting to readers.
Additional Confocal Images of Cherry Flower Bud
Cherry Flower Bud at High Magnification - The annual cherry blossom celebration held in the capital of the United States commemorates the original gift of more than 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo to the inhabitants of Washington, DC in 1912. The well-known event attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Nathan S. Claxton, Shannon H. Neaves, and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.