Flowering trees add beautiful pink, red, purple, or white colors to any large or small garden. If you plan your garden landscape well, you can have various shades of tree blossoms in spring, summer, and fall. Some flowering fruit trees such as apple, pear, or cherry trees have the added benefit of producing delicious fruits. Other popular types of trees give you exceptional vibrant colors when they bloom in spring.
In this article, you will learn about some of the most popular types of flowering trees for your garden. The pictures and botanical names of these blossoming trees will help you identify the perfect tree to compliment your landscaping needs.
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Types of Flowering Trees with Name and Picture
Flowering trees can turn your garden into a sea of color when they blossom. A few well-placed landscape trees can greatly increase the aesthetic beauty of any garden, large or small. When the trees aren’t in bloom, they can provide shade, shelter, or even reward you with a bumper crop of fruit.
When choosing the ideal flowering tree, take into account your growing zone, how tall the tree grows, and when it blossoms. If you have a small, compact garden, then there are also many dwarf hybrid flowering trees.
Once your trees are established, they will require very little maintenance and you can enjoy their colorful blossoms year after year.
Types of Pink Flowering Trees (With Pictures)
Magnolia trees belong to the flowering plant family Magnoliaceae. When magnolias blossom in the spring, they produce exquisite pink, mauve, rosy-purple, white, and red flowers. Magnolia flowers are large and fragrant and will add beauty, grace, and elegance to your garden.
One of the delightful features of magnolias is that their fragrant blossoms often appear before their leaves. Depending on the species, magnolia flowers can be cup-shaped or saucer-shaped and are generally very large. The big pink flowers can sometimes be up to 12” (30 cm) across. Some of the smaller light-pink blooms can be around 4” (10 cm).
Flowering magnolia trees can grow to about 40 ft. (12 m) high. However, if you have a smaller garden, choose a dwarf variety that grows up to 12 ft. (3.6 m) tall.
Magnolias grow well in zones 4 – 9; but check the species as some varieties only grow well in warmer climates.
Flowering Cherry Trees
Many people regard flowering cherry trees as the most beautiful of the spring flowering trees. Also called sakura, the Japanese cherry tree (Prunus serrulata) produces beautiful light pink and white flowers. Varieties of blossoming cherry trees are usually cultivated for their superb floral displays rather than their fruit.
Similar to magnolias, cherry blossoms are some of the first flowers on trees to appear in spring. The small 5-petal flowers create showy clusters of ruffled blossoms. From a distance, these flowers give the tree an appearance of being covered in pinkish-white candy floss.
The flowering season of cherry blossom trees can be relatively short. After flowering, the trees may lose their petals in 2 to 3 weeks. However, you can plant a variety of cherry blossom trees that bloom at different times to extend their flowering time.
If you have a compact or small garden, then choose an ornamental blossoming cherry hybrid. The small cherry blossom tree cultivar ‘Kojo-No-Mai’ grows to 7 ft. tall (2.1 m) and produces pale-pink flowers in early spring.
Flowering cherry trees thrive in full sun and grow well in zones 4 – 9.
Eastern Redbud (American Redbud)
The Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a relatively small deciduous tree that produces pink and dark magenta flowers from spring until summer. Just like with magnolias, eastern redbuds produce flowers before the leaves appear on the trees.
Masses of small rosy-pink flowers in the shapes of pea create a dazzling display of flower clusters on the redbud tree. The thin flower-covered branches grow in all directions to give the tree a truly dramatic look. Adding to the drama are many pink flowers that grow on the trunk.
Although eastern redbud trees are famous for their pink flowers, there are also some species that produce white flowers.
You can expect an eastern redbud to grow to between 20 and 30 ft. (6 – 9 m) and with a spread of up to 33 ft. (10 m). For smaller gardens, choose a smaller dwarf tree such as the ‘Ace of Hearts’ that only grows to 9 ft. (2.7 m) tall. Redbuds grow well in zones 5 – 9.
Pink Trumpet Tree
The pink trumpet tree (Tabebuia heterophylla) is a semi-deciduous tree with pink flowers. In warm tropical climates, the tree may stay green throughout the year.
Flowers on the pink trumpet tree are delicate pinkish-white petals with a yellow center. The small trumpet-shaped flowers grow in large clusters to create a bushy flower head. The large spreading nature of the branches gives the tree a beautiful look in any garden. When planted near a patio or deck, a pink trumpet tree can provide shade during the summer as well as beautiful pink colors.
Pink trumpet flowering trees (Tabebuia trees) grow best in subtropical zones and can thrive in both dry and wet climates.
Persian Silk Tree or Mimosa Tree (Albizia Julibrissin)
Also called “mimosa,” the Persian silk tree (Albizia julibrissin) is a species of summer flowering tree known for its fluffy pink flower heads. The Persian silk tree shouldn’t be confused with trees from the genus Mimosa. The flowers on both trees may look similar but they are from different genera.
Mimosa silk trees have long spreading branches with drooping fern-like leaves. From early summer until mid-summer fragrant pink and white flowers grace the tree. In the warm sun, these spiky-looking flowers give off a delicate floral fragrance.
Compared to other types of tree flowers, flowers from mimosas are unique. They are a cluster of pink stamens about 3 cm long. These form “powderpuff” flowerheads that look fluffy on light-green bipinnate-shaped leaves.
Persian silk trees grow well in warmer climates that are in zones 7 – 9.
Dogwood trees are stunning spring flowering trees that produce small white, purple, pink, or red flowers. The flowerheads on dogwood trees are made up of beautiful petals that are obovate-shaped and taper to a point. The center of the individual flowers is a dense cluster of greenish-yellow stamens.
Apart from some species of dogwood producing star-shaped pink flowers, dogwood tree leaves turn to shades of purple and burgundy in fall.
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Plant dogwood trees in moist well-drained soil in zones 5 – 8.
Types of White Flowering Trees (With Pictures)
All apple trees (genus Malus) are types of flowering trees, but the crabapple is an ornamental plant with especially beautiful white blossoms. Crabapples are a great type of landscaping tree if you want spectacular white flowers every spring. If you plant these small to medium-sized trees, you will also be rewarded with a crop of delicious apples in fall.
Crabapples are one of the smallest types of apples from apple trees. Crab apple trees flower for up to 2 weeks starting in mid-spring. The delightful flowers can be single, semi-double or full-double flowers. Depending on the species, the flowers can be white, pink, magenta, orange, or red. These may give off exotic cinnamon or clove-like fragrances.
Although crabapples can grow up to 40 ft. (12 m) tall with a similar spread, choose a dwarf cultivar for landscaped gardens. For example, the miniature ‘Camelot’ crabapple produces clusters of delightful white flowers and only grows up to 9 ft. (2.7 m) tall.
Crabapples grow well in zones 4 – 8.
Magnolia trees are one of the most beautiful of all the flowering trees you can choose from. If you are looking for a spectacular white variety, then choose the Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata).
The star magnolia is a small tree that gets its name from its star-shaped white flowers. These brilliant white flowers are made up of thin linear-shaped petals that radiate out to create a daisy-like flower shape. Star magnolias produce a mass of delicately scented snow-white flowers in early spring.
Native to the eastern states of the US, the Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) produces masses of creamy-white flowers. Fringe tree is a type of small flowering tree with mildly-scented flowers. Each flower head is made up of a number of tassel-like petals that give the flower clusters a bushy, stringy appearance. This is maybe one of the reasons why the tree is also called Old Man’s Beard.
After the fringe tree finishes flowering in early summer, the fallen white petals will look like a blanket of snow under the tree.
These hardy shrub-like trees grow well in zones 3 – 9. Fringe trees grow to between 12 and 20 ft. (3 – 6 m) and with proper care and pruning, you can control their growth.
Although more commonly thought of as a shrub, some species of hydrangeas are small flowering trees. The Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ is the white-flowering hydrangea tree.
Also called the ‘Pee Gee,’ this small tree can grow to between 10 and 25 ft. (3 – 7.5 m) tall. Each conical flowerhead can measure up to 18” (45 cm) long and is made up of clusters of small white flowers. During the flowering season from summer until fall, the tree will be covered in large bushy flowers.
With the proper pruning, this large shrub can be made to look like a spectacular specimen tree or an ornamental tree. This is also a hardy flowering tree that can add color to gardens even in cooler climates. Ideal growing zones are 3 – 8.
Hawthorn trees are low-miniature flowering trees that produce white, red, or pink flowers in early summer. One of the reasons why hawthorns are popular as flowering trees is that they are very hardy.
When hawthorns blossom in late spring/early summer, the tree is covered by clusters of white flowers. These are made up of dainty oval petals with pale-yellow stamens. The brilliant white flowers contrast well with the dark green foliage.
Some white hawthorn cultivars include the popular ‘Washington Hawthorn’ and the thorn-less ‘Winter King’ cultivar. Hawthorns also give you various colors throughout summer and fall. Red berries appear during summer and their foliage turns purple then red before dropping.
The best zones for hawthorns are 4 – 8.
Pear trees are another type of fruit tree that produces delightful white flowers in mid to late spring. When in full bloom, the whole pear tree is covered in clusters of fragrant pure white flowers. Each flower is made up of 5 small petals that measure up to 1.5” (4 cm) across.
After flowering at the start of summer, pears will start to grow on the tree. These are usually ready for harvesting in late summer and early fall.
As with apple trees, pear trees grow to between 12 and 20 ft. (3.6 – 6 m). However, if you have a small garden, dwarf and compact varieties of flowering pear trees are a great option.
The Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) is a species of small to medium-sized flowering tree. This plant native to Japan has multiple low-branching trunks that give the tree a large bushy appearance.
The tree produces white flowers in summer that are made up of cup-shaped white petals and a golden yellow center. These flowers can grow up to 3” (8 cm) across and give off a delightful floral scent. The Japanese stewartia produces many white flowers throughout the summer season.
Plant a Japanese stewartia if you live in zones 5 – 8 and have well-draining soil in your garden.
Types of Purple Flowering Trees (With Pictures)
One of the most striking trees to produce purple flowers in summer is the crape myrtle tree (Lagerstroemia). Small deep purple petals form delicate flowers that grow in clusters.
Crape myrtles come in various sizes, from tall trees, small to medium sized trees and dwarf trees. There are even crape myrtle shrubs.
Crape myrtle trees thrive in hot dry climates and their purple flowers are long-lasting. Because the branches start low to the ground, this flowering tree may look more like a large flowering shrub. Each flower cluster grows in a conical triangle shape and they cover the tree with purple color all summer.
Although purple is the most common flower color of crape myrtle, other Lagerstroemia cultivars also produce white, red, and pink flowers.
Plant crape myrtle as an ornamental tree to landscape your garden if you live in zones 7 – 10.
Burgundy Desert Willow
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Chilopsis is the botanical name for small trees commonly known as desert willows. These flowering trees are small growing shrub-like plants that produce funnel-shaped ruffled flowers. Desert willows are not related to true willow trees but are a member of the Bignoniaceae family.
The smaller species of desert willows grow to about 5 ft. (1.5 m) and the larger tree can reach 26 ft. (8 m) tall. Purple flowers appear on the tree from May through September and they give off a delightful fragrance.
As their name suggests, desert willows grow best in hot dry climates and they are popular in US states such as Texas, California, Arizona, and Nevada.
The chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is a deciduous low-growing tree with a shrub-like appearance. This is a fast-growing and low-maintenance flowering tree that procures striking blue or purple flowers. The short stocky trees can grow to between 4 and 15 ft. (1.2 – 4.5 m).
The spectacular floral displays are made up of vibrant flowers that grow along stems measuring 12” (30 cm). These purple-blue sprays seem to shoot out of the plant and their wonderful fragrance is a delight in the summer.
Expect flowers on chaste trees to last from summer right up until the start of fall. Chaste trees grow well in zones 6 – 9.
Jacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia or blue jacaranda) are native to sub-tropical areas but are now grown worldwide due to their stunning purple flowers.
Jacaranda trees are spring and early summer blooming trees that have small purple flowers (2 in. / 5 cm). Jacaranda trees can grow up to 66 ft. tall (20 m) so make sure you have plenty of space in your yard for these flowering trees.
Purple Orchid Tree (Bauhinia purpurea)
The purple orchid tree is a purple flowering tree that blooms from late summer to early winter with masses of spectacular flowers. The purple orchid tree is a semi-evergreen tree with heart-shaped leaves, and long brown seed pods. As a type of fast-growing flowering tree, a purple orchid tree matures at 30 to 35 ft. (9 – 10 m) tall and wide.
Each purple orchid tree flower has five petals with frilly margins, and the ends turn back like a showy orchid flower. The orchid tree flowers have white veins, protruding stamens and deliver a delightful fragrance. Flowers are 3” to 5” (7.5 – 13 cm) in diameter.
Purple orchid tree flowers appear before the leaves drop. Then in fall, the tree’s leafless branches are covered in ornamental, showy purple flowers.
Purple orchid trees thrive in the warm regions of USDA in zones 9 to 11.
After flowering, the orchid tree develops long, flat brown seed pods.
Like all varieties of orchid trees, the purple variety has elongated brown seed pods. These 6” to 12” (15 – 30 cm) long pods harden on the tree before popping open to disperse the tiny seeds.
Other Types of Flowering Trees (With Pictures)
Witch hazels (Hamamelis) are trees that produce dainty yellow flowers and are very cold hardy. Although they are classed as shrubs, the larger varieties can grow into a small tree. Small yellow flowers grow along stems. Unlike most other flowering trees on this list, witch hazel is a late bloomer that flowers in fall.
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Roses are a flowering shrub that is one of the most popular types of flowers in the world. However, it is possible to produce a rose tree by grafting and pruning an existing rose shrub. This can create a spectacular type of flowering rose tree that can grow in containers or as a specimen tree in your landscaped garden.
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Plumeria Tree (Frangipani)
Plumeria is a group of small flowering trees or shrubs and is famous for highly scented, exotic, showy flowers. Plumeria flowers are shaped like a star and come in shades of white, yellow, pink, red, and multi-colors.
Plumeria trees are also called frangipani. The tropical trees are classed as deciduous or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs. However, there are a few evergreen plumeria tree species like the Plumeria obtusa and Plumeria pudica. The spectacular flowering trees thrive in USDA zones 9 through 12. These flowering trees commonly grow in Florida, the Caribbean, the Pacific islands, Mexico, and Central America.
Frangipani trees are moderate to fast-growing plants that can grow up to 20 ft. (6 m) tall. However, in most tropical and subtropical garden landscapes, the exotic trees reach between 6 and 8 ft. (1.8 – 2.4 m) tall.
The only care plumeria trees require is plenty of sunlight, well-drained soil, water, and fertilizer.
Further reading: Plumeria Tree: Growing and Care Guide.
Flowering Purple Leaf Plum Tree (Prunus cerasifera)
The purple leaf plum tree (Prunus cerasifera) is a small ornamental flowering tree with fragrant whitish-pink spring flowers. Each attractive, fragrant flower has five petals growing in a radial form measuring 1” (2.5 cm) across.
The purple leaf plum tree has deep red or rich purple colored leaves. The small flowering tree with dark purple leaves grows between 15 and 25 ft. (4.5 – 8 m) tall. The deciduous tree has dense foliage and a vase-shaped crown.
Also called the cherry plum tree, the purple leaf plum is an easy-to-grow ornamental tree that grows best in moist but well-drained soil that is moderately fertile. The attractive dark foliage tree performs well in full sun and can tolerate some shade. However, too much shade causes the leaves to turn green.
The purple leaf plum tree also produces small plum-like yellow or red edible fruit.
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- Small Flowering Trees with Pictures For Easy Identification
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- Types of Fruit Trees (Including Low Maintenance Varieties)