Many different flowering trees and cultivars are commercially available and are known by their common names. Flowering trees add year-round interest to home landscapes. Most flowering trees bloom during the spring and summer; some varieties produce edible fruit, while others have showy fall foliage or ornamental bark. The Virginia Cooperative Extension recommends choosing trees based upon the landscape, the availability and the environmental conditions such as soil, climate and amount of sunlight.
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are deciduous trees that grow between 18 inches and 40 feet tall, depending on the cultivar. They have simple opposite leaves that turn to red or yellow in the fall. Their large clusters of flowers come in a variety of colors such as red, pink and purple. According to the Floridata website, crape myrtles have one of the longest blooming periods of any tree, producing blossoms for 60 to 120 days. Crape myrtles are hardy in United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 7 through 9. They prefer well-drained, moist soil and full sunlight.
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)
Flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) are small, deciduous trees that prefer partial or full shade and well-drained, rich, acidic soil. They grow approximately 15 feet tall with a 15- to 20-foot spread. They have single or multiple trunks and wide irregular crowns with leaves that change to scarlet or purple in autumn. They bloom between March and October. Their blossoms are small, yellow and inconspicuous, but the flowers are surrounded by four large, showy pink or white modified leaves called bracts that resemble petals. Flowering dogwood trees are native to the North America. They occur along streams and river banks from Ontario to Texas. Cultivated species grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 9.
Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera)
Cherry plum trees (Prunus cerasifera), which are native to Asia, grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 8. These deciduous trees are between 15 and 25 feet tall with a 15- to 20-foot spread. They have reddish-brown bark; upright, rounded crowns with spreading branches; and bright-green alternating leaves with toothed margins. They are short-lived, according to the University of Connecticut; most cherry plum trees only live for about 20 years. They produce small, fragrant, pinkish-white blossoms in the spring before the leaves appear. The leaves are followed by edible reddish fruits. Cherry plum trees prefer full sunlight and well-drained acidic soil.
Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)
Downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) trees are native to the Eastern United States. These small trees or large shrubs, which are hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 4, grow between 15- and 25-feet tall. They produce drooping clusters of white blossoms before the leaves appear, followed by edible reddish-purple berries. Downy serviceberry trees have smooth, gray bark with reddish vertical fissures. According to the University of Connecticut, they are useful as specimen trees or in small groupings. They prefer well-drained, moist acidic soil and either full sunlight or partial shade.
- Floridata: Lagerstroemia Indica
- North Carolina State University: Lagerstroemia Indica
- Floridata: Cornus Florida
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Cornus Florida (Flowering Dogwood)
- University of Connecticut: Prunus Cerasifera
- North Carolina State University: Prunus Cerasifera
- The United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Amelanchier Arborea
- University of Connecticut: Amelanchier Arborea
- Virginia Tech: Selecting Landscape Plants - Flowering Trees