The big, beautiful skies and often big yards make Kansas a perfect place to grow gorgeous flowering trees if you want to further enhance those gorgeous, endless skies.
Since the planting zones in Kansas are relatively narrow, it is easy to pick trees for most of KS.
However, those in hotter and drier areas may want to choose drought-tolerant trees if they don’t have a nearby water source, and those in windy areas may want wind-resistant trees. But the options are still almost limitless!
Let’s check out some white, yellow, purple, and pink flowering trees you can grow in Kansas.
12 Beautiful Flowering Trees To Grow in Kansas
White-Flowered Trees to Grow in Kansas
Flowering Dogwood is a gorgeous tree with blocky bark, rich green leaves, and big white ‘flowers.’ Interestingly, the tiny greenish-yellow flowers are in the center, and the four ‘petals’ are actually showy, modified leaves.
This eastern North American species is native to the extreme southeast corner of Kansas, where it grows in forest edges in rich soils.
Flowering Dogwood grows best in full sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil high in organic matter. If necessary, add sulfur to acidify your soil, and apply a thick layer of organic mulch annually.
These trees can be grown anywhere in KS. However, their shallow roots can dry out quickly, so irrigation, mulch, and afternoon shade may be necessary, particularly in the hotter and drier west.
Despite its shallow roots, Flowering Dogwood resists wind, ice, and snow.
For more information, learn how to identify Flowering Dogwood.
Other Common Names: White Flowering Dogwood, American Dogwood, Florida Dogwood, Indian Arrowwood, White Dogwood, False Boxwood
USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 9
Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 35 ft (to 66 ft) tall, 20 – 35 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Showy flowers emerge mid-March to mid-May, lasting 2 – 4 weeks; inedible berry-like red drupes mature from September to October and persist to December
Sweet Bay Magnolia is a semi-evergreen tree in Kansas and also later blooming, with flowers not emerging until May or June, thus avoiding all danger of late spring frosts.
These trees are fairly easy to grow in rich, organic, acidic, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. They are not drought-tolerant and require summer irrigation. A thick layer of organic mulch will help, and sulfur can be added to help acidify the soil if necessary.
However, it is not overly frost-hardy. In the southern half of KS, it will grow larger, while in the north, it will likely remain shrubbier, and it is best planted in a protected location.
It also does not hold up as well to wind and ice damage, so if this is a concern in your area, plant it in a protected location.
You can also learn how to identify Sweet Bay Magnolia.
Other Common Names: Swamp Magnolia, Laurel Magnolia, Swampbay, White Bay, Beaver Tree
USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 10
Average Size at Maturity: 10 – 35 ft (to 100 ft) tall, 10 – 35 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Showy flowers bloom in May and June; conelike fruits mature in the fall
Japanese Lilac Trees are much bigger than most lilacs, growing up to 25 ft feet tall, and they also bloom later than most lilacs with large panicles up to one foot long made of tons of small creamy white flowers with that classic lilac scent.
Their textured reddish-brown bark also adds some winter color to the landscape.
These lovely trees are highly tolerant of urban conditions and often used as street trees, in parks, or in residential areas as a border, driveway, or accent tree.
Japanese Lilacs are best grown in full sun in any average well-drained soil with medium moisture. However, a little afternoon shade should be given for those with particularly hot and dry summers, and mulch the root zone with organic matter to help retain moisture.
Otherwise, these trees should grow well anywhere in Kansas.
For more information, learn how to identify the Japanese Tree Lilac.
Other Common Names: Japanese Lilac Tree
USDA Growing Zones: 3 – 7
Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 25 ft tall, 15 – 25 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Flowers emerge in late spring to early summer; capsular fruits mature in fall
Downy Serviceberry is a beautiful eastern North American tree native to the eastern ⅕ of Kansas, where it likes to grow alongside moist forest edges and riparian areas but can also be found on dry hillsides, rocky woodlands, wooded bluffs, and mountain slopes.
It produces prolific fragrant white flowers in early to mid-spring, followed by edible small reddish-purple berries in late summer that can be eaten fresh or made into jams or pies.
Downy Serviceberry can be grown as a multistemmed shrub if the root suckers are not removed, or alternatively, you can remove the root suckers to train it into a more traditional tree.
These trees grow best in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained, acidic soil. However, they tolerate any loamy, sandy, rocky, moderately alkaline, and occasionally dry or wet soils.
Downy Serviceberries will grow well anywhere in KS.
Other Common Names: Alabama Serviceberry, Juneberry, Shadbush, Service-tree, Sarvis-tree, Shadblow, Shadbush, also in Latin, the synonym Amelanchier canadensis.
USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 8
Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 25 ft (to 40 ft) tall, 10 – 20 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: White flowers emerge from March to April; edible reddish-purple berries mature from July to August
Available at: Nature Hills
Star Magnolia is a lovely small tree with gorgeous white, slightly fragrant, star-shaped flowers that bloom in early spring.
The strap-shaped petals can change from white to pink depending on the temperature outside during flowering.
Star Magnolia also has beautiful leaves that emerge bronze-green in spring, turn deep green by summer, and then turn a pleasant shade of yellow in autumn.
These trees grow best in full sun in moist, rich, acidic to neutral, well-drained organic loams, but they will tolerate clay and partial shade, although blooms will be reduced.
The main challenge with Star Magnolia is it requires consistent moisture and is intolerant of extremely dry or wet soils.
Although more cold-hardy than most magnolia trees, they do not hold up too well to Kansas’ wind and ice damage, so they should be planted in a sheltered location.
You can also learn how to identify Star Magnolia.
Other Common Names: Magnolia Bush, Starry Magnolia
USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 8
Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 20 ft tall, 10 – 15 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Flowers appear from late February to April; cone-like fruits mature in late summer
Pink-Flowered Trees to Grow in Kansas
Crabapple Trees are cold hardy, growing well in Kansas and providing spectacular spring blossoms and sometimes equally spectacular fall colors.
Most crabapples are adaptable trees that tolerate most soil types, provided they are well-drained.
In Kansas, the main challenges are the summer drought, heat, and sometimes alkaline soil. However, the three varieties below were chosen for their tolerance of those conditions.
Indian Magic Crabapple has spectacular deep-pink to nearly violet, very fragrant blossoms, beautiful red fall color, and vibrant red fruits that feed birds into winter.
Royal Raindrops has gorgeous magenta-pink blossoms, colorful leaves in all seasons, and showy orange-red fruits loved by birds.
For edible fruits, try the Centennial Crabapple. Its pink floral buds open to showy white flowers, followed by 2” fruits. It is only mildly tolerant of alkaline soil and drought and should be provided irrigation and a protected location in the west.
Other Common Names: Crabapple, Prairie Fire Crabapple, Centennial Flowering Crabapple, Indian Magic Ornamental Crabapple
USDA Growing Zones: 4(3) – 8
Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 20 ft tall, 15 – 20 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Showy flowers emerge in spring; fruits (apples) mature in late summer or early fall depending on the variety
Oklahoma Redbud is a botanical variant of the Eastern Redbud from Texas and Oklahoma that has more leathery leaves that make it more drought-tolerant than the type species. It also has even more vibrant magenta, pink, or wine-colored flowers that will not disappoint.
Both trees are gorgeous, with early spring pink blossoms covering the bare branches before the leaves emerge, often the first spring color you see in your landscape.
While the Eastern Redbud is native to eastern Kansas and grows well there, the Oklahoma Redbud variant would perform much better in the drier and hotter west but can also be grown in the east.
These pretty flowering trees thrive in full sun in well-drained fertile soils. Even though Oklahoma Redbud is more drought-tolerant than most Redbud trees, it would benefit from occasional light watering but will not tolerate wet soils.
For more information, check out how to identify Oklahoma Redbud.
Other Common Names: Texas Redbud
USDA Growing Zones: 6 – 9
Average Size at Maturity: 10 – 20 ft tall, 10 – 15 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Flowers bloom before the leaves emerge between March and April; legumes mature in late summer to early fall
The American Smoketree is often described as having large, showy pink flowers. In reality, they have tiny, inconspicuous flowers but develop long hairs on their spent flower stalks that turn smoky-pink or purplish-pink in summer.
Their beautiful leaves emerge silky pink in spring, turn bluish-green or dark green in summer, and then intensely vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple in the fall. Finally, its contorted limbs and scaly bark add winter interest for a full four-season display.
American Smoketrees grow best in full sun in medium-moist alkaline soil but tolerate slightly acidic, compacted, and rocky soil, plus partial shade and urban pollution.
These trees would perform well anywhere in Kansas; only occasional summer irrigation may be needed in the hottest and driest parts of KS.
These cold-hardy, drought-tolerant, and disease-resistant trees thrive with some neglect. They will do poorly in rich soil or if over-fertilized or over-watered.
Other Common Names: American Smokebush, Smokebush, Chittamwood, Smoke Tree, Texas Smoke Tree, Wild Smoke Tree
USDA Growing Zones: 4(3) – 8
Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 30 ft tall, 15 – 30 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Flowers bloom from May to June; inedible berry-like drupes mature in late summer
Available at: Nature Hills
Yellow-Flowered Trees to Grow in Kansas
Sassafras trees are mostly known for being the original source of rootbeer flavoring, now banned, but the tree itself is still valued for its aromatic properties and its gorgeous, uniquely lobed bright green leaves that provide spectacular fall color with vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow.
Perhaps underappreciated is its profuse spring blossoms of small yellow flowers covering the branches before or as the leaves emerge. These are followed by small, dark blue berry-like drupes on red stalks that birds love.
This eastern North American species is native to the extreme southeast corner of Kansas.
Sassafras grow best in sandy, acidic, well-drained soils but are highly adaptable to other soil types, provided they drain well. They are also drought-tolerant once established.
In some areas of KS, they may need protection from extreme winter weather since they don’t hold up well to wind and ice damage.
Other Common Names: White Sassafras, Common Sassafras, Ague Tree, Cinnamon Wood, Smelling Stick, Saloop, Mitten Tree
USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9
Average Size at Maturity: 30 – 60 ft tall, 25 – 40 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Flowers emerge with the leaves in April or May; berry-like drupes mature in September
Tulip Trees are gorgeous, tall flowering trees, one of my favorite trees for their uniquely lobed leaves and large, unique yellow tulip-like flowers. I fell in love the first time I ever saw one. These lovely trees are closely related to magnolia trees.
They are also fast-growing, tall trees with lush canopies that make great shade trees in Kansas.
These trees grow best in full sun in moist, acidic, loamy, sandy, or well-drained clay soils. However, they will also tolerate alkaline soils if they are kept moist.
Tulip Trees can be grown anywhere in Kansas, but irrigation is usually necessary since they have shallow roots and are not drought-tolerant in dry climates.
These trees are not known for having good wind resistance but are not especially weak either. Planting in a protected location and pruning to remove damage and strengthen your tree will help it thrive in the windy west.
Other Common Names: American Tulip Tree, Tulipwood, Tuliptree, Tulip Poplar, Whitewood, Fiddletree, Hickory Poplar, Yellow Poplar
USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9
Average Size at Maturity: 60 – 100 ft (to 150 ft) tall, 30 – 50 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Showy flowers bloom in May and June; dry cone-like fruits mature in fall
Purple-Flowered Trees to Grow in Kansas
Chaste Tree is a lovely small tree with prolific blooms of light purple lilac-like flowers that often bloom all summer long, even when grown in drought-prone areas.
These trees grow best in full sun to partial shade in any acidic to neutral soil, including poor, dry, and somewhat alkaline soils; they just need to be well-drained to prevent root rot.
Chaste Trees are moderately drought-tolerant once established but may require occasional irrigation during especially hot, dry summers, particularly in the west.
However, they are not overly cold-tolerant and can only be grown in southern Kansas without protection or in central KS (USDA Zone 6) if given winter protection. There, they may die back in the winter but grow back in the spring as a perennial shrub.
If you live in northern Kansas and want a purple flowering tree, then the Purple Lilac might be the one for you (see below).
Other Common Names: Lilac Chaste Tree, Chaste Berry, Monk’s Pepper Tree, Vitex, or Wild Lavender Tree
USDA Growing Zones: 7 (6 with protection) – 9
Average Size at Maturity: 8 – 20 ft tall, 5 – 20 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Flowers first appear in June and continue until September; berry-like drupes ripen in the fall
The Common Purple Lilac has delightful lavender-purple flowers with that classic lilac scent we all know and love. All the bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators will flock to your yard for that delightful fragrance.
Aside from beauty, they are also incredibly easy to grow in full sun in any soil with medium moisture, but they will also tolerate extremely wet or dry.
Common Purple Lilacs are very cold-hardy shrubs that withstand freezing winds; they can be planted as a gorgeous windbreak for your Kansas yard.
These shrubs will grow anywhere in KS, though they may need occasional summer irrigation in the drier parts of the west.
However, they are not very heat tolerant, so in the hottest parts of southern KS, avoid planting them in direct afternoon sun to prevent possible leaf scorch, or try Chaste Tree instead.
Check out how to identify Common Purple Lilac for more information.
Other Common Names: Lilac, Common Lilac
USDA Growing Zones: 3 – 7
Average Size at Maturity: 8 – 15 ft tall, 6 – 12 ft spread
Flowering / Fruiting Season: Flowers bloom from mid to late spring; dry capsular fruits mature in late summer
Table Comparing Flowering Trees in Kansas
Here is a detailed table comparing all the flowering trees for Kansas mentioned in the article, including their bloom time, fruiting time, size at maturity, and USDA growing zones:
|Size at Maturity
|Mid-March to Mid-May
|Sep to Dec
|20-35 ft tall
|5 – 9
|Sweet Bay Magnolia
|May and June
|10-35 ft tall
|5 – 10
|Japanese Lilac Tree
|Late spring to early summer
|20-25 ft tall
|3 – 7
|March to April
|July to August
|15-25 ft tall
|5 – 8
|Late Feb to April
|15-20 ft tall
|4 – 8
|Late summer or early fall
|15-20 ft tall
|4(3) – 8
|March and April
|Late summer to early fall
|10-20 ft tall
|6 – 9
|May to June
|15-30 ft tall
|4(3) – 8
|April or May
|30-60 ft tall
|4 – 9
|May and June
|60-100 ft tall
|4 – 9
|June to September
|8-20 ft tall
|7 (6 with protection) – 9
|Common Purple Lilac
|Mid to late spring
|8-15 ft tall
|3 – 7
Flowering Trees That Thrive in Kansas
I hope you enjoyed learning about some of the many flowering trees that you can grow anywhere in Kansas under those gorgeous, endless skies.
While there are so many trees to choose from that would grow well in KS, pay attention to your tree’s requirements and tolerance to heat, cold, drought, or wind to ensure your chosen trees will still thrive.
Those on the limit of the trees’ USDA Growing Zones may need extra water, afternoon shade, mulch, or some other protection in order to thrive, but with a small amount of extra care, it can be done! Alternatively, if you are looking for low maintenance, simply choose one that already grows happily well within your zone.
Now you can go out and get some flowering trees for your yard today. Happy tree planting!