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Cherry blossom most soothing among spring flowers: study

The cherry blossom topped the list of spring flowers in generating positive psychological effects, according to the Gangneung-Wonju National University research team.

The research team analyzed the impressions and emotions of 40 male and 40 female respondents when they were shown the pictures of forsythia, azalea, Japanese apricot, cherry, magnolia trees with and without the flowers.

Respondents were asked to evaluate their impressions from 27 pairs of adjectives such as bright-dark and beautiful-disgusting, and to write down their emotions with words such as anxious, depressed, angry or hostile, active, tired and chaotic.


The researchers concluded that a natural and dynamic sensation was most prominent for forsythia, a light and natural sensation for the Japanese apricot flower and cherry blossom, and a delicate and clean sensation for magnolia. They assessed the color white from cherry blossom and magnolia to produce comfort, while acknowledging the possibility of a varied effect for people from different cultures based on another piece of research from Japan which reported the same color to produce anxiety.

The university research team said that the cherry blossom was most closely associated with conveying a sense of security and freedom among the five types of flowers due to its ability to create relief and relaxation.

In the examination of changes in emotions, all five spring flowers appeared to reduce the level of depression and rejuvenate the respondents. However, cherry blossom was the most effective in bringing down the level of depression.

By Ahn Sang-yool (