Am I going to get in trouble here! Someone phoned me about some promo material she was writing in which she said that scouts would learn to distinguish Akebono from Somei-yoshino, and I had her remove that bit as being something impossible to learn. I'm starting to get it only this year. So far, I've learned: Fully open Somei-yoshino blossoms are quarter-sized and Akebono blossoms come larger than that. Akebonos have the staminode that you see in Douglas's photo and in one of mine. They occur on one-in-twenty to one-in-3000 blossoms, or yesterday, I thought it was one-in-300,000 blossoms on a group of trees I was studying so hard because I remembered seeing a staminode on one of them a week ago. Somei-yoshino often but apparently not always have witches broom, but Akebonos do not. The trees usually seem a bit more contorted to me, so when I see a fine-looking tree that doesn't look contorted, I think it mustn't be Somei-yoshino, even though the rest of the characteristics seem to fit. and to me the Akebono blossoms seem thinner or more diaphenous and the Somei-yoshino seem sturdier or thicker. They both open pinkish and fade to white, so depending on how long the blossoms have been on, both trees can look the same colour. It seems though that this year, Somei-yoshinos are open before the neighbouring Akebonos, so you get a contrast of the white Somei-yoshino and the pink-appearing Akebonos. Well, that is if those white things really are Somei-yoshino. There are other trees around with single white blossoms. See the Pandora thread, for instance, and the P.serrulata var.spontanea thread, which is Japanese Mountain Cherry. With the mountain cherry, it was the sepals that gave it away as being not Akebono or Somei-yoshino. With the Pandora, it's the tree shape. Akebono and Somei-yoshino are written up separately in the Akebono thread, the Somei-yoshino thread, and maybe the What cherry? Another single pinky white, early mid-season thread, if it turns out those are Somei-yoshino. I shouldn't be writing this up - I'm as confused as anyone. Among Vancouver street trees, There are approx 1,547 Akebono's.There are approx 80 Yoshino's. So you'll be much more often right guessing Akebono than Somei-yoshino, particularly for young trees.