Although grown primarily for their fruits, many orchard fruit trees also produce attractive blossom in the spring.
Most apple varieties have pure white blossom, although before the flowers are fully open they usually have a crimson-pink tinge. In some varieties the pink colour is retained. In most varieties the leaves open at about the same time as the blossom and provide an attractive fresh green backdrop.
Our variety pages list apple varieties with particularly attractive blossom.
Like many varieties related to James Grieve, Katy produces an abundance of blossom - in this case a superb pure-white colour.
Kidd's Orange Red is a good example of the more unusual dark-pink flowers found in some apple varieties.
Crab apple blossom
Although closely related to apples, Crab apples have been developed for their more attractive blossom. Crab apples can be divided into two categories: those with white or white / pink blossom like apples, and those with more intense dark-red blossom.
In both cases the quantity and duration of the blossom is greater than with mainstream apples. Most crab-apples are self-fertile and also make excellent pollinators for other apple trees.
Malus Evereste is typical of the white/pink-flowered crab apples.
Most pears have plain white blossom, although the flowers are usually larger than is the case with apples.
Doyenne du Comice has the classic white pear blossom.
Plum trees invariably have pure white blossom, as do their close relatives - Mirabelles, Cherry Plums, and Damsons.
The blossom is generally short-lived, lasting perhaps a week to 10 days. Plum blossom usually opens well before the leaves, and the result is a cloud of white flowers against a backdrop of bare wood.
Opal blossom is typical of most plums - small plain white flowers borne in profusion.
Denniston's Superb produces a lot of blossom, even by plum standards.
Cherries are closely related to the well-known ornamental Prunus species found in gardens and parks, but the flowers of fruiting cherry varieties are much smaller, and always plain white in colour. Nevertheless the effect is quite attractive, and as with plums, the blossom usually appears before the leaves.
Masses of delicate white flowers and newly-emerging leaves - typical of most fruiting cherries.
For ornamental appeal Quinces are perhaps the most attractive of all fruit varieties. Quince flowers resemble those of apples and pears, but are much larger, and usually borne singly against a backdrop of large dark green leaves.