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19 Flowering Trees in Delaware to Grow or Discover Today


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Nature is bountiful. For many people today the easiest way to connect to the natural world is through planting a garden or even just keeping a few plants or trees.

Nowhere is the beauty of nature as apparent in the home as in the seasonal show of flowering plants, trees, and shrubs.

Delaware’s planting zone sits in zone 7a in the north and 7b in the south, giving home growers plenty of options when it comes time to decide what flowering trees to plant.

19 Stunning Flowering Trees to Plant in Delaware

1. Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

Cherokee Chief Dogwood - Fast Growing Trees Nature Hills
Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’ – Images by Fast-Growing-Trees and Nature Hills, Combined by Lyrae Willis for Tree Vitalize

The Flowering Dogwood is a small flowering tree with a short trunk and spreading branches. It features long-lasting flowers in a myriad of shades of white and pink.

It’s often considered one of the most spectacular of the Eastern North American native flowering trees. The branches spread horizontally and are tiered. The fall foliage is scarlet and the small red fruit follows the early spring blossom.

The Flowering Dogwood is deciduous, with the foliage changing to hues of scarlet in the fall before being shed for the winter. The Flowering Dogwood attracts plenty of birds and butterflies. Grows best in rich, well-drained, moist, acidic soil; sandy loam, sandy, and medium loams.

Other Common Names: Virginian Dogwood, Florida Dogwood, White Cornel, St Peter’s Crown, False Box, Arrowwood, American Boxwood, Corona de San Pedro

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-30 ft tall and 15-30 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

2. Royal Empress Tree (Paulownia elongata)

Royal Empress Tree
Image by carlfbagge via Flickr

Growing a Royal Empress Tree is sure to keep you entertained in the garden year-round. Known for their unparalleled rapid growth, they also produce enormous flowers in the spring when the pea-sized buds (which have been patiently waiting all winter) finally open. The buds open at the first sign of spring, unleashing a fragrant explosion alongside the purple blossom, offering a feast for the senses.

The foliage measures up to a foot wide, lending a tropical feel to the landscape. The size of the leaves means the Royal Empress Tree provides good shade in the summer. It also means that the tree needs to produce fewer branches, which will allow more sunlight into your home in the wintertime.

The Royal Empress tree will tolerate almost any kind of soil and is tolerant of pollution. It’s not considered as invasive as Paulownia tomentosa.

Other Common Names: Paulownia

Growing Zones: 7-11

Average Size at Maturity: 40-50 ft tall and 30-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

3. Kwanzan Cherry Tree (Prunus ‘Kwanzan’)

Kwanzan Cherry
Image by Drew Avery via Flickr

The Kwanzan cherry is a beautiful flowering cherry, known to be the most prolific bloomer of the flowering cherries. It features clusters of pink pendulous flowers.

It can handle seemingly less than perfect conditions, and still produce a dazzling floral spring show; it can tolerate temperatures as low as -10 Fahrenheit. It is said to produce twice the amount of blooms and petals as other similar varieties, and they appear in groups of 3-5.

The Kwanzan Cherry blooms in April and the foliage turns golden before being shed. The Kwanzan cherry brings year-round interest to wherever it’s planted. Whilst it won’t bear fruit, there are plenty of other fruit trees you can choose to plant in your DE yard, including sweet and sour cherries.

Other Common Names: Sekiyama Cherry, Kanzan Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 ft tall and 30-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: April

4. Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus castus)

Chaste Tree
Image by Teresa Grau Ros via Flickr

The Chaste Tree blooms across several seasons is drought and cold tolerant and requires little in the way of maintenance. It provides, colorful blooms, fragrance and attracts birds, bees, and butterflies to your yard for months at a time. It’s no wonder the Chaste Tree is so popular in suitable areas.

Clusters of lilac flowers emerge early in the summer and remain until fall, meaning they can provide a valuable nectar source when many other species are finished flowering and starting to slow down. Chaste Trees are small in size, making them perfect for smaller yards and those who want to squeeze in as much life as possible into little space.

Other Common Names: Vitex, Abraham’s Balm, Chasteberry, Lilac Chastetree, Monk’s Pepper, Monk’s Peppertree

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 8-15 ft tall and 5-8 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early summer to fall

5. Rose of Sharon (Rosa syriacus)

Rose of Sharon
Image by jacinta lluch valero via Flickr

The Rose of Sharon is a small size flowering tree or small shrub that provides a long season of tropical-looking flowers for you to enjoy.

They appear throughout the summer and into the fall when other plants are beginning to go dormant. The flowers can be either single or double. The Rose of Sharon will attract many bees and hummingbirds to your yard and are troubled by few pests and diseases.

The Rose of Sharon is perfect for beginner gardeners as it requires little maintenance, and offers breathtaking results in no time. It’s also suited to container growth and will tolerate heat, humidity, air pollution, and drought without a problem.

The flowers come in an array of different colors; from white to pink to red to purple, lavender, or can be bi-colored. They also can be found with single or double flowers.

The Rose of Sharon has a graceful vase-like growth habit. The leaves are small and toothed but have no show during the fall.

Other Common Names: Rose Mallow, Shrub-Althaea, Syrian Hibiscus, St Joseph’s Rod, Syrian Ketmia

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 6-16 ft tall and 2-10 ft wide

Flowering Season: Mid-summer to mid-fall

6. Jane Magnolia (Magnolia liliflora ‘Reflorescens’ x stellate ‘Waterlily’)

Jane Magnolia
Image by F. D. Richards via Flickr

The Jane Magnolia is a hybrid Magnolia developed in the 50s at the US National Arboretum. According to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, ‘Jane’ is a cross between M. liliiflora ‘Reflorescens’ and M. stellata ‘Waterlily’.

It’s a hardy shrub or small tree, with the benefit that the buds open later in the season, thus avoiding late frosts that can hamper the flowering for more northerly gardeners. The blooms are reddish/purple on the outside, and white on the inside, tulip-shaped and mildly fragrant. The leaves are dark green and look slightly leathery.

The Jane Magnolia looks good planted as an accent tree, on borders or alone. They prefer moist, rich, well-drained soil and morning sun with some afternoon shade if possible.

Other Common Names: Jane Magnolia

Growing Zones: 4-7

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall and 7-10 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

7. Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

southern magnolia
Image by John K Thorne via Flickr

The Southern Magnolia is emblematic of the American South, and many DE gardeners may be able to cultivate one at home. It’s a pyramidal tree with a rounded crown, grown for the size of its iconic flowers, as a shade or privacy tree, and for its evergreen foliage.

The leaves are dense and dark green and shine throughout the cold winters. After the flowers, the tree produces a fruit filled with small red seeds which attract birds and squirrels to feast upon and take refuge in the foliage.

The large, cream-white flowers remain on show for months, making this one of the American flowering trees par excellence. They can remain present until the fall, and unleash an unbeatable fragrance. Southern Magnolia’s can withstand cold down to -10 Fahrenheit, are drought tolerant, can stand some flooding, and can grow in most soil types.

Other Common Names: Bull Bay, Cucumber Tree, Umbrella Tree, Sweet Bay, Swamp Bay, Tulip Tree

Growing Zones: 7-9

Average Size at Maturity: 60-80 ft tall and 20-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: Summer into fall

8. Cleveland Pear Tree (Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select’)

Cleveland Select Pear
Image by F. D. Richards via Flickr

The Cleveland Pear grows in a clean, narrow pyramidal, symmetrical shape and requires no maintenance, making it perfect for those DE gardeners low on space and time. The crown grows in an oval shape, which along with the explosion of white flowers in the spring makes it perfect for driveways, borders, or just about anywhere else.

The Cleveland Pear produces cream-white flowers with a pleasant aroma, unlike other ornamental pear species. The mature leaves are glossy green, turning orange/golden in the fall.

Other Common Names: Chanticleer

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

9. Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Tulip Tree
Image by kiwinz via Flickr

The Tulip Tree is a fast-growing oval-shaped tree with bright green leaves that produces tulip-shaped flowers 1 ½ to 2” in diameter. The petals are greenish/yellow and orange around the base and are held up high in the tree. The leaves turn a vibrant shade of golden/yellow in the fall. The leaves are alternating, 3-6” long, with distinctive lobes, a flat base, and two tips.

The stems are aromatic and the colorful seeds persist throughout the autumn and winter, providing visual interest after the flowers have passed, and providing food for many animals. The Tulip Tree grows best in moist, acidic, loamy, well-drained clay soils. Whilst it can tolerate humid or drought conditions, it prefers average moisture levels.

Other Common Names: Tulip Poplar, American Tulip Tree, Tulipwood, Whitewood, Fiddle Tree, Yellow Poplar

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 70-90 ft tall and 30-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: May – June

10. Lilac Tree (Syringa vulgaris)

Lilac tree
Image by Andreas Rockstein via Flickr

The Lilac Tree is a deciduous tree or large multi-stemmed shrub with a rounded and irregular growth pattern. It produces light purple/lilac/lavender colored fragrant florets borne on 4-8” long panicles in pairs, usually on the previous year’s growth. The leaves are simple and ovate, dark green to bluish above, paler on the underside, and 2-5” long.

Whilst the Lilac tree likes a sunny position, it won’t tolerate hot and humid sites. It prefers well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. The Lilac Tree can easily be pruned into a single-stemmed tree, left as a multi-stemmed shrub, or trained into a hedge.

Other Common Names: Common Lilac

Growing Zones: 5-7

Average Size at Maturity: 8-15 ft tall and 6-12 ft wide

Flowering Season: April or May

11. Japanese Pagoda Tree (Styphnolobium japonicum)

Japanese Pagoda
Image by Andreas Rockstein via Flickr

The Japanese Pagoda Tree features a round to fan-shaped crown with a semi-open, irregular growth habit. It makes a good flowering shade tree for urban settings as it tolerates urban pollution well. It features showy flowers that are followed by attractive dangling seed pods in the fall.

The leaves are an attractive shade of bright green and are composed of 10-15 leaflets, resembling a fern. In fall, the leaves turn bright orange/yellow.

One downside of the Japanese Pagoda Tree is that it can take up to a decade to flower. The patient are rewarded with white pea-like flowers borne on upright panicles on the branch tips. Each panicle can reach up to 15” long and exudes a sweet, delicate fragrance. Plant in organically rich, well-draining soil such as sandy loam, in full sun for the best results.

Other Common Names: Chinese Scholar Tree, Pagoda Tree

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 50-75 ft tall and 50-75 ft wide

Flowering Season: Late summer to fall

12. Prairiefire Crabapple (Malus x ‘Prairifire’)

Crabapple
Image by cbransto via Flickr

The Prairiefire Crabapple is a showy tree throughout the seasons, making it perfect for those who may be short on space and want to maximize the visual appeal of all their plants.

Spring sees the appearance of a profusion of pink/magenta flowers and purple/red leaves. The bark is a mixture of dark grey and earthy orange, adding winter interest, alongside the cherry-sized fruit that persists into the beginning of the cold months.

The Prairiefire crabapple is resistant to many diseases that other crabapples succumb to, making it suitable for those who don’t want to be constantly monitoring their trees for disease.

Other Common Names: Prairiefire Crabapple

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: April – May

13. Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)

Serviceberry
Image by Plant Image Library via Flickr

The Serviceberry is a large deciduous tree or shrub, with a rounded habit. It features 5-petaled, showy, lightly fragranced white flowers in early-to-mid spring. They are borne on drooping clusters, before the emergence of the leaves. The flowers are attractive to local pollinators and are followed by small, round, dark, and tasty berries in the fall that are enjoyed by different kinds of birds.

The finely toothed, obovate leaves emerge covered in soft hair that disappears with maturity. The mature leaves are 4” long, and dark green, turning to a fiery/dusty shade of brown, yellow-orange/apricot in the fall. The bark is smooth and grey and lightly fissured, providing some winter interest. The Serviceberry is a good choice for DE gardeners looking to create a natural look in their yard.

The Serviceberry will grow easily in rich, moist-to-dry, well-drained acidic soils.

Other Common Names: Downy Serviceberry

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 ft tall and 15-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: April – May

14. KV Flowering Plum Tree (Prunus cerasefera ‘Krauter Vesuvius’)

Flowering plum
Image by Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr

The KV Flowering Plum Tree is gaining popularity as it provides lots of color year-round, as well as being a fruit-bearing tree. The small plums reportedly have an excellent sweet taste. The leaves emerge with a unique, head-turning shade of dark purple in the spring and remain this color throughout the season.

Light-pink flowers cover the canopy and provide a delicious contrast to the leaves. In the fall, the bright red plums the size of cherries can be admired and eaten.

The small size of the KV Flowering Plum tree makes it well-suited to small-sized yards. The oval-shaped canopy also means it casts a good shade, providing a nice spot to relax under in the warmer months. They are also both drought and cold tolerant, and can also withstand city pollution.

Other Common Names: ‘Krauter Vesuvius’ Plum Tree, ‘Krauter Vesuvius’ Purple Leaf Plum

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

15. White Weeping Cherry Tree (Prunus subhirtella var. pendula)

Weeping Higan Cherry Tree
Image by F.D. Richards via Flickr

The White Weeping Cherry is a medium-sized tree that features weeping branches covered in snow-white blossom in the spring. The flowers cover the entire tree and the branches sway and move with the wind, creating an unforgettable floral show. The White Weeping Cherry is, understandably a much sought-after flowering tree. It’s also very adaptable to a wide range of soil types and climates.

The branches can be trimmed as to your preference or left to dangle to the ground and create a lush, natural feel.

Other Common Names: Weeping Higan Cherry

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 ft tall and 15-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: Late winter/ early spring

16. Japanese Snowbell Tree (Styrax japonicus)

Japanese Snowbell
Image by Thomas Quine via Flickr

The Japanese Snowbell tree is a compact and easily managed flowering tree. The blooms are gorgeous, delicate white, bell-shaped flowers and droop gracefully from the horizontal branches. The flowers appear in hundreds and provide an unmissable sight in the landscape.

They are already naturally compact trees but can be kept even smaller with regular pruning, making them suitable for smaller landscapes.

Aside from the obvious beauty of the Japanese Snowbell flowers, they are also sweetly fragrant and attract bees and plenty of other pollinators to the garden. The leaves are rounded, bright green, and contrast beautifully with the white flowers below. In the fall the leaves turn a simple shade of yellow, adding to the all-around visual appeal of the Japanese Snowbell.

The Japanese Snowbell is a delicate tree that doesn’t like extremes of either heat, harsh winds, or cold. However, it recovers quickly from any less-than-ideal seasonal variances.

Other Common Names: Japanese Styrax, Silver Bells

Growing Zones: 5-8a

Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 ft tall and 15-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: Late May – Early June

17. Corinthian White Double Flowering Peach Tree (Prunus persica ‘Corinthian White’)

Corinthian Peach
Image by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Corinthian White Double Flowering Peach Tree is a fast-growing, tall columnar tree with fragrant double blooms. The flowers are bright white with an orange interior for attracting pollinators.

Whilst this tree doesn’t produce edible fruit, it more than makes up for it with the double blooms it offers, which brings in birds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

The double white, flamboyant flowers appear in spring before the leaves emerge from buds that have a light pink color. The deciduous foliage is dark green and turns yellow in the fall.

Its narrow, upright columnar shape means it easily blends into any part of the garden. It does best in evenly moist conditions, and won’t tolerate standing water. It’s extremely tolerant of urban settings.

Other Common Names: Corinthian White Peach Tree

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 20-25 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

18. Crimson Cascade Weeping Peach Tree (Prunus persica ‘Crimson Cascade’)

Cascading Peach
Image by ayakka3 via Pixabay

The Crimson Cascade Weeping Peach Tree is an eye-catching flowering ornamental, with weeping pendulous branches and cascading red/crimson double blossoms. The foliage follows the flowers and is deep burgundy when it emerges, turning green/maroon by summer. The Crimson Cascade Weeping Peach provides a fantastic accent and focal point in the spring and summer seasons.

Plant in full sun in well-draining soil. Whilst it is a fruiting tree, the fruit is small in size and best enjoyed for its ornamental value.

Other Common Names: Flowering Peach

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 10-12 ft tall and 8-10 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

19. Columnar Goldenchain Tree (Laburnum anagyroides ‘Fastigiata’)

Goldenchain Tree
Image by cristina.sanvito via Flickr

The Columnar Goldenchain Tree is a small-sized, low-branched deciduous tree native to the mountains of Central and Southern Europe. It’s grown for its dense clusters of pendulous bright yellow flowers.

It grows in a vase shape, with an upward, columnar spread. The foliage is bright green and features clusters of 3 leaflets, which contrast beautifully with the yellow flowers in the late spring.

The compact growth habit of the Columnar Golden Chain Tree makes it perfect for gardens or areas with limited space. The root system is also compact, making this a suitable species for container cultivation.

Other Common Names: Common Laburnum

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

Floral Delaware

The state of Delaware sits in zones 7a and 7b, meaning that winters don’t get impossibly cold. This means that home gardeners can cultivate a wealth of beautiful flowering trees at home, regardless if you have acres or only a small back or front yard.

Whatever type of flowering tree you’re after, chances are you’ll be able to cultivate it in DE.

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