21 Types of Trees With Purple Flowers For Your Home or Garden
Trees with beautiful purple flowers can add some much needed color to just about any home garden or landscape area. But finding the right one that suits the needs and space of your gardening area is also critical. In this article, we take a look at our favorite purple-flowered trees along with names and pictures of each!
Sometimes your garden needs a particular pop of color, and when you need to add a bit of purple, your options can sometimes feel a little limited. Purple isn’t a super common color in nature, but there are a few attractive options to choose from if you’re willing to think big.
When planting trees in your yard, obviously you consider the size of the tree, and height. But the colors of their flowers are often an afterthought. While there are many options for flowering trees, those with purple flowers can add just enough color to help your home or garden stand out from the crowd.
In the following list, you’ll find some of our favorite trees with purple flowers, and learn a littl bit about each. Whether you’re looking for the perfect new tree or just a little bit of inspiration, let’s dig a little deeper into each of our favorites.
Scientific Name: Vitex agnus-castus
The second species on our list of trees with purple flowers, like the first, is a bit of a misnomer. The Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) isn’t a tree at all but rather a fast-growing shrub in the Verbena family.
These tree-like shrubs produce grayish-green, palm-shaped foliage that smells almost as fragrant as its blue and violet flowers, which bloom from early summer into early fall. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators are drawn to the Chaste Tree in bloom.
Chaste Trees love dry, well-draining soil. Once established, you’ll probably never have to water it. And the poorer the soil, the better for this tree. They’ll even tolerate a little bit of road salt! Just make sure they get plenty of direct sunlight.
Chaste Trees need to be pruned annually if they don’t die back on their own during severe winter cold (don’t worry – they regrow quickly!). They naturally grow unto a multi-stemmed shrub shape, but nurseries generally prune them back to one stem, and you can, too.
Scientific Name: Lagerstroemia indica
This species of Crape Myrtle produces dense clusters of tiny flowers that resemble crepe paper in texture, which is where the tree got its name. Its dark green foliage contrasts the purple, pink, or red blooms until it turns bright orange in the fall.
Crape Myrtles were once thought to be a tree exclusive to warm, tropical regions, but some cultivars have become rather adaptable to milder temperatures, even as far north as Portland. This purple flowering variety, Indica Crape Myrtle, still loves heat and humidity.
This variety grows best in USDA hardiness zones 7-9, and in colder climates. It will die back to the ground when the weather turns cold, regrowing when the weather is more favorable. If trained as a tree, it’s a little hardier, and its bare winter bark is a stunning mottled color.
Scientific Name: Chilopsis linearis ‘Burgundy’
The Burgundy Desert Willow isn’t a willow at all, although it does grow in a weeping formation. Its deciduous leaves are long and feathery like a willow’s, too, but that’s where the similarities end.
It grows from 15 to 30 feet tall, and in the spring and summer, the Burgundy Desert Willow produces clusters of fragrant, burgundy trumpet-shaped blooms. Hummingbirds love the scent of these showy blossoms and flock to these trees when they’re in bloom.
Burgundy Desert Willows drought-tolerant trees that like well-draining soils and full sun. They thrive in USDA hardiness zones 8 and 9. Their low moisture requirements make them perfect for rock gardens and xeriscapes.
While they can grow quite large when planted in the ground, Burgundy Desert Willows make excellent container plants, too. Just remember to water them a bit more often if they’re in a container, particularly on the hottest days of summer.
Scientific Name: Cornus florida
Dogwoods are one of the many trees are known for their white flowers, but this variety is sometimes called “Purple Glory” for a reason. While its spring and early summer blooms are maroon-red, the Purple Glory Dogwood features bold purple foliage year-round.
They grow best in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9, but they require a consistent amount of moderate moisture. Dogwoods can grow well in cooler climates, provided they have enough sun. Purple Glory Dogwood Trees grow around 15 to 20 feet tall and spread about the same amount, so make sure you have plenty of space for them.
Scientific Name: Cercis canadensis’ Ruby Falls’
The Ruby Falls cultivar of the Eastern Redbud tree is a compact weeping tree with rich burgundy heart-shaped foliage that turns yellow in the fall before dropping its leaves for winter. It explodes with a stunning canopy of showy purple-red flowers in the early spring and looks beautiful in a zen or woodland garden.
Ruby Falls thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9 and requires full sun or partial shade for best results. This tree is not a drought-tolerant plant, and it needs regular watering, especially when the weather turns hot.
Scientific Name: Syringa vulgaris
Fragrant lilac trees are also technically shrubs, but they grow quickly and can grow quite large. In Spring and early Summer, their bright green foliage gives way to cones of tightly clustered lavender, purple, and lilac flowers – hence the name.
There are over 200 cultivars of the Fragrant Lilac species, some of which can grow very tall, but others stay more compact. They’re so hybridized some varieties can thrive just about anywhere. Generally, though, they do best in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 7 and prefer full sun with well-draining soil.
Scientific Name: Hibiscus syriacus
Hibiscus syriacus, commonly known as the Rose of Sharon, is a multi-stemmed shrub that can be trained into a tree – although some cultivars, like the Purple Pillar, naturally grow in a single vertical column of stems. Hummingbirds and butterflies love the beautiful violet flowers that bloom continuously from midsummer to fall, each blossom lasting for just one day.
Hibiscus trees do best in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9 and prefer full sun and well-draining soil. They’re naturally deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and even salt tolerant. They can grow up to 12 feet tall and can be propagated from cuttings, as some varieties (such as Purple Satin) produce sterile seeds.
Scientific Name: Jacaranda mimosifolia
The Jacaranda Tree practically announces spring in South Florida with fairy tale flowers and fernlike foliage. It blooms in early spring with clusters up to a foot long and several inches across and itself grows gigantic – over 50 feet tall.
Some trees on this list are versatile and can grow in various climates, but the Jacaranda Tree is somewhat demanding. Its geographic range is limited to USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11, where it can get full sun and sandy soil. But keep it away from the ocean – it does not like salt.
Korean Lilac Tree
Scientific Name: Syringa pubescens
If you love the magical flowers of the Jacaranda but live in a less tropical region, the Korean Lilac Tree is a more viable option. It’s much more petite than the Jacaranda, at only 10 feet tall, but in spring, just a couple weeks after other lilacs, it bursts with lavender-pink tubular flowers.
It does well in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8 and can tolerate extreme cold and even road salt. As long as you’ve got full sun and occasional rain, your Korean Lilac Tree is about as easy to care for as it gets.
Scientific Name: Cecis canadensis ‘Covey’
As you can tell by its botanical name, this lovely weeping tree is a relative of the common Eastern Redwood. This one is particularly unique in how its weeping branches twist and contort into a twiggy, umbrella-shaped canopy that blooms with lavender-pink flowers. But it stays relatively short, which makes it perfect for small spaces.
The Lavender Twist grows best in USDA hardiness zones 5-9. They enjoy full sun, regular watering, and annual feeding with a tree and shrub food. You’ll be rewarded with an abundance of birds and butterflies that love these purple blooms.
Magnolia’ Royal Purple’
Scientific Name: Magnolia x soulangeana
This “Royal Purple” cultivar of the Magnolia tree is commonly called the “saucer magnolia,” most likely due to its massive white and purple blooms that grow up to eight inches across and fill the area with a delicious fragrance. It matures to be around 30 feet tall and has a rounded canopy.
This Magnolia variety likes moist, acidic, well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade. They need some protection from the wind, but be careful about planting them against the house where they get southern exposure. All the artificial warmth may cause the buds to open too early in the spring when they can get damaged.
Scientific Name: Kalmia latifolia
The Mountain Laurel is a relative of rhododendrons native to North America. This little tree grows to roughly 15 feet tall, though some cultivars top out at around just 6 feet, making them perfect for small yards and cramped spaces. This tree’s flowers bursts with pink, white, or red flowers streaked with rich maroon or purple in late spring and early summer.
The Mountain Laurel grows well in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9 and is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. Though they’ll survive anything from deep shade to full sun, they prefer something in between, closer to partial shade, for maximum blooms and minimal risk of scorching.
Purple Leaf Plum
Scientific Name: Prunus carasifera ‘Kruater Vesuvius’
The Purple Leaf Plum is a unique tree in that its leaves aren’t green but a rich, dark reddish-purple year-round. They produce white to pink blossoms in the spring, similar to Japanese Cherry Blossoms, which stand out brilliantly against the deep, colorful foliage.
These trees grow well in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9 but thrive best in zones 5 to 8. They enjoy full sun to partial shade, but the leaves will be more green than purple the more shade they get. They require weekly watering until they get established, at which point they’re fairly drought-tolerant, only requiring extra watering in the hottest part of the summer.
Purple Lily Magnolia
Scientific Name: Magnolia liliflora
Though it shares a name with its relative, the Magnolia tree, this Purple Lily Magnolia is quite different from the other Magnolia on this list. It produces gorgeous white blooms that are purple on the underside, creating a beautiful backdrop when they flower in the spring.
They like acidic soil and regular watering while they mature, eventually requiring only occasional deep watering when necessary. They like USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9, and new trees can be grown from cuttings of mature trees.
Purple Orchid Tree
Scientific Name: Bauhinia Purpurea
The Purple Orchid Tree, sometimes called the Butterfly Tree, produces three- to five-inch fragrant, magenta flowers that live up to their namesake, the butterfly. It has heart-shaped leaves and can grow big and branching or impact and weeping, depending on how it’s pruned as it matures.
Unlike some trees on this list that need to be planted firmly in the ground to thrive, the Purple Orchid Tree does quite well in a container, indoors or out. Smaller pots mean tighter roots, which keep the tree small, so if you want to grow it in a pot, look for one roughly 16 inches across and 14 inches deep until you see how large it will grow.
Purple Robe Locust
Scientific Name: Robinia pseudoacacia’ Purple Robe’
The Purple Robe Locust is a large flowering tree with reddish-green leaves. They grow around 40 feet tall and bloom in early summer, producing fragrant, purple, wisteria-like flowers in the spring.
The Purple Robe Locust Tree grows well in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8, and it likes full sun and rich soils. It’s drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, thanks to its protective thorns. They make great trees for growing along the street or any other difficult landscape that other trees tend to struggle in. Avoid pruning them in the springtime, though, because they’re prone to bleeding.
Purple Wisteria Tree
Scientific Name: Wisteria Sinensis
The Purple Wisteria Tree is probably one of the best-known purple flowered trees, and it’s certainly the most recognizable. It can climb up to 15 feet high and produces bluish-purple blooms in clusters that appear to drip from the vines in summer.
These trees grow well in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9, but within that range, they’re quite adaptable. They’re drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and naturally resistant to diseases. Hummingbirds and butterflies love them, too.
Royal Empress Tree
Scientific Name: Paulownia tomentosa
The Royal Empress Tree, sometimes also called the Princess Tree, is named after a Russian princess. Its bright green leaves are large and velvety, and it produces purple-pink flowers that smell like vanilla. Mature Royal Empress trees produce a thick, dense canopy.
That does mean, however, that it can compete with plants beneath it, so if you do choose this tree, keep it by itself. Note that it’s also an invasive species in North Carolina, and may be in other states as well, so check your local authorities before planting.
Royal Purple Smoke Tree
Scientific Name: Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’
The Royal Purple Smoke Tree is a strange and dramatic-looking tree that never fails to make an impression. It has dark purple foliage, produces fringed blooms that look like smoke, and turns a stunning red in the fall.
It grows well in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8 and requires full sun occasional deep watering but is fabulously low maintenance. It’s also cold-tolerant, unlike many of the trees on this list, making it a great addition to northern gardens.
Silk Floss Tree
Scientific Name: Ceiba speciosa
The Silk Floss Tree is another contender for one of the strangest trees on our list. It grows up to 60 feet tall and branches into an umbrella-like canopy, and sheds its leaves in the fall before blooming. The showy pink and purple flowers take their place, making the Silk Floss Tree look like something out of a fairy tale.
It has a wide variety of practical uses, too. Its wood can be used to make canoes, wood pulp, and paper, and the bark can be braided into rope. The seeds can even be pressed to make vegetable oil. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11.
Takasago Flowering Cherry
Scientific Name: Prunus sieboldii
Most Japanese Cherry Trees bloom in white and pink, but the Takasago Flowering Cherry produces flowers that are almost lavender in color, which stands out against the bronze foliage. They grow up to 20 feet tall but have a very low canopy that only clears about two feet above the ground.
The Takasago Flowering Cherry has a limited range, viable only in USDA hardiness zone 5b, but with some care and maintenance, it can live over 50 years. It’s even tolerant of city pollution and can be planted under power lines.
We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at our favorite trees with purple flowers. If you’re looking to spice up your garden with a particular pop of color, these dramatic trees are sure to fit the bill. Many of the trees we’ve talked about can make great shrubs, privacy screens, and accent plants in any garden.
To get the most enjoyment out of your trees, remember to take into account your regional climate and be honest with yourself about how much maintenance you want to do. Whether you’re an expert gardener or a novice, there’s a tree with purple flowers for you.