We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Sunday was the last day of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, so tourists and locals alike headed for the Tidal Basin to enjoy the trees in full bloom. The world-famous shell-pink blossoms drifted in the water, swayed in the breeze…and adorned the hair of a surprising number of young women as a spring fashion accessory. These were no stray blossoms; many visitors wore them in clumps worthy of Sigourney Weaver’s Oscar-night gown. According to the National Park Service, however, such accessorizing is a fashion no-no. The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, Section 2.1, prohibits damaging the trees, which includes raiding them for adornment. “Park rangers are trying to keep park visitors and their little people from climbing on the trees and breaking off the flowers,” says Park Service spokesperson Toni Carroll, who admits that not many tickets are issued for such offenses. Carroll adds that beauty isn’t the only motive for plundering the trees. “A lot of people ask, ‘Can you eat them?’” notes Carroll. “No, you can’t eat the blossoms.” —Pamela Murray Winters