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mar 26

How to Identify Any Blossom

Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy RSchatz/myBudgetTravel)

It doesn't get much more beautiful than blossom season, and while cherry trees tend to get all the love this time of year, there are plenty of other arboreal displays to admire. The problem—for those of us who aren't particularly savvy about these things—is figuring out exactly what kind of tree you're appreciating at any given time. Turns out, an app we featured last fall in our roundup of leaf–peeping–season gear is just as useful for shedding a light on spring's spellbinding displays as it is for illuminating fall's most colorful foliage.

The Leafsnap app, which works with iPhones and iPads (and is absolutely free), is a continually–updated electronic field guide that puts 2,500 high–res photos of native American trees' leaves, bark, fruit, and flowers in the palm of your hand. Flip through the images in the database for fun, or snap a photo with your device and upload it to the app to find the match.

And if you just feel like doing some armchair blossom–spotting, check out the Field Guide to Flowering Trees of the World Flickr group; it's got more than 11,000 photos of some 1,300 different species of tree, all labeled with their scientific names. And don't forget to click through Budget Travel Readers' Best Cherry Blossom Photos while you're at it!

Do you have a favorite blossoming tree (other than the cherry)? Tell us in the comments!

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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