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20 Flowering Trees to Grow in Indiana (Incl. Purple Blooms)


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Indiana can experience some harsh weather conditions in both summer and winter, but that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of flowering trees you can grow in the state.

You’ll need both cold and heat-hardy, species as well as drought-tolerant trees. Indiana is a diverse state that can be divided into three main areas; the Great Lakes Plains, the Till Plains, and the Southern Plains and Lowlands, each with slightly different climatic peculiarities.

Whichever part of Indiana you’re located in, planting flowering trees can add bountiful seasonal interest to your yard.

And if you’re a fan of flowering trees, why not plant different types that flower at different times of the year to extend the floral show?

20 Beautiful Flowering Trees that Grow Well in Indiana

1. Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

sweetbay magnolia
Image by Plant Image Library via Flickr

Whilst Sweetbay Magnolias are often associated with the South, they can survive in the cooler temperatures of IN. The only difference is they may not grow quite as big. You’ll still be able to enjoy the large, creamy white blossom and the dense shade from the thick glossy evergreen leaves.

Sweewtbay Magnolias are incredibly hardy and can withstand wet soils and even standing water. The foliage features a beautiful silvery underside and the flowers are fragrant with a faint hint of lemon in their scent.

Other Common Names: Sweetbay, Swampbay, Laurel Magnolia, White Bay, and Beaver Tree

Growing Zones: 5-10

Average Size at Maturity: 10-35 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide in Indiana

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

2. White Dogwood (Cornus florida)

White Flowering Dogwood
Image by suzyq55 via Flickr

The White Dogwood is a low-branching tree with a broadly pyramidal crown and a somewhat flat top. Dense flower clusters are surrounded by dark green foliage which turns a dizzying shade of scarlet in the winter months, providing season-to-season interest.

The White Dogwood is a compact tree, making it suitable for a wide range of applications in the landscape, whether as a stand-alone specimen, accent tree, street tree, or anything else. Spring sees star-like blossoms appear before the emergence of the foliage.

The White Dogwood will adapt to many different soils, including acidic soils, clay, sandy, and loamy soils, and is even drought tolerant, although thrives in moisture-rich areas. Whilst it prefers partial shade, it’ll do well in full sun in cooler areas.

Other Common Names: Flowering Dogwood

Growing Zones: 5-8

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

Flowering Season: Spring before the foliage appears.

3. Dwarf Korean Lilac (Syringa Meyeri ‘Palibin’)

dwarf korean lilac
Image by Leonora (Ellie) Enking via Flickr

The Dwarf Korean Lilac is perfect for those who want to maximize the flowering season. They can bloom twice a year; around May and then later in July until the first frost, making them suited for those who simply love lilacs.

It’s a small and compact tree with a refreshing jasmine-like aroma, making it suited for smaller spaces such as patios or even for container growth. Be sure to check the hardiness map of Indiana before committing to planting.

Plant the Dwarf Korean Lilac in well-drained soil in full sun for best results.

Other Common Names: Chinese Tree Lilac, and Peking Lilac

Growing Zones: 3-7

Average Size at Maturity: 4-6 ft tall and 3-7 ft wide

Flowering Season: May, then July until the first frost

4. Yoshino Flowering Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis)

Yoshino Cherry
Image by Mark Kent via Flickr

The Yoshino grows in an upright vase shape with a delicate branching pattern and a black/grey bark. Fragrant whitish/pink flowers adorn the tree on the bare branches early in the spring. Each flower measures about an inch across and can last for several weeks.

Yoshino Cherries can be planted as single specimen trees, in lawns, or in groups for a truly show-stopping scene. After the flowers are gone, the dark green summer foliage provides dense shade before the muted golden-orange fall colors are on show. The fruit is small and is especially enjoyed by local birds including songbirds.

Other Common Names: Potomac Cherry, Sakura

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 35-40 ft tall and 15-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

5. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) – Purple Blooms

Eastern Redbud
Image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr

The Eastern Redbud is an early flowering native tree whose lavender/pinkish purple blossoms sing in the beginning of spring.

The magenta flowers appear on the bare branches before the emergence of the heart-shaped leaves which are held on large petioles underneath where the flowers appear. Fall sees the foliage turn a nice shade of yellow. Small purplish seed pods are held on the tree and persist throughout early winter.

Eastern Redbuds are understory trees in the wild so prefer partial shade but can tolerate full sun in cooler areas. Their shape varies greatly between trees, so may be a good choice if you’re looking to create a natural woodland-style garden. They prefer well-drained soil but will tolerate clay and alkaline soils too.

Other Common Names: Redbud, Judas Tree

Growing Zones: 4-9

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

Flowering Season: Early spring

6. Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)

Northern catalpa
Image by Michael Gras, M.Ed. via Flickr

The Northern Catalpa is a beloved tree throughout the United States. It features an upright form and large heart-shaped leaves. Springtime sees the tree completely covered in bell-shaped flowers that resemble azaleas with yellow throats, rows of crimson dots, and white petals.

The Catalpa is a fast-growing tree and as such is often used as a street shade tree, as well as an ornamental in suitable areas. In the wild it can be found along streams, rivers, and creeks, so likes moist soil, but is adaptable to many growing conditions.

After the flowers have faded, long thin green fruit resembling green beans persist throughout the winter, providing visual interest. The large leaves can measure up to 12” across. Catalpas can also be used in rain gardens to filter rainwater including in wet zones, transition zones, or mesic areas.

Other Common Names: Cigar tree, Catawba, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, and Indian Bean Tree

Growing Zones: 4-8

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

Flowering Season: Late spring/early summer

7. Adirondack Crabapple (Malus ‘Adirondack’)

Adirondack Crabapple
Image via Nature Hills

The Adirondack Crabapple has gorgeous red buds for weeks before the white flowers burst open in the spring. The flowers last longer than most other crabapples, and they won’t require any pruning or fertilizers on your part to keep them at their best. It’ll grow in almost any soil type and is also drought-tolerant.

The Adirondack Crabapple features a narrow upright, classic vase shape with branches that extend upwards, making it possible to squeeze into smaller spaces. The mature leaves are dark green and measure 3” across. The fruit are small; only ½” in but have a lovely bright orange color and hang off the branches into the winter months.

Other Common Names: Adirondack Crab apple, Malus ‘Admiration’

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 15-18 ft tall and 12-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

8. Cold Hardy Mimosa Tree (Albizia julibrissin ‘EH Wilson’)

The Cold Hardy Mimosa can withstand temperatures down to -10 Fahrenheit, making it by far the hardiest mimosa tree. A plethora of pink flowers come to life around mid-June and last until September.

The delicate texture of the flowers lends this tree one of its common names; the Silk Tree. it’s heat, cold, and drought-hardy, meaning you can enjoy the numerous benefits of the tree for months.

Hummingbirds and bees are attracted to the fragrant scent of the flowers which can last up to four months. The Cold Hardy Mimosa Tree will thrive in a variety of different climates and soil types with minimal effort on your part.

Other Common Names: Silk Tree

Growing Zones: 5-10

Average Size at Maturity: 20-35 ft tall and 20-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: Mid-June to September

9. Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

Golden Rain Tree
Image by Wendy Cutler via Flickr

The Golden Rain Tree sports a long-lasting spectacle of dazzling fragrant yellow flowers for a month or longer in the summertime. The yellow flowers are held on 15” long pannicles and have a red center.

Spring sees the leaves emerge from pinkish/bronze buds before opening and turning bright green. Fall sees tones of orange/yellow. The leaves consist of 7-17 leaflets with a soft and feathery appeal.

In favorable conditions, the Golden Rain Tree can grow 2-3 ft a year. It has a broad spreading canopy, making it suited as a shade tree, and a pleasing texture of the bark which can be appreciated in the winter months, alongside the hanging, chocolate-colored seed pods.

It’s drought tolerant, thanks to its deep root system, and provides an important source of nectar for bees and other local pollinators. It can tolerate a range of different soil types and can even handle inner city environments with ease.

Other Common Names: Panicled Golden Rain Tree, Pride of India, China Tree, and Varnish Tree.

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 ft tall and 20-35 ft wide

Flowering Season: Summer

10. Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)

Japanese Stewartia
Image by Plant Image Library via Flickr

The Japanese Stewartia has a pyramidal shape and distinguished branching pattern replete with big leathery leaves. It can grow either as a more formal single-trunked tree or a more natural-looking multitrunked tree.

The flowers are white and resemble camellias. They last a few weeks and attract a wealth of pollinators. Fall sees the leaves turn reddish/purple before revealing the exfoliating bark.

The Japanese Stewartia will grow best in moist or wet soils, in partial shade or full sun, and requires a good amount of water to thrive.

Other Common Names: Korean Stewartia, Deciduous Camellia

Growing Zones: 5-8

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

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

The Cleveland Pear grows in an upright symmetrical oval shape without the need for much upkeep. This makes it perfect as an accent tree in hard-to-reach areas.

Wherever you choose to plant your tree, you’ll be rewarded with a burst of white flowers each spring, which emit a pleasant scent, unlike the Bradford Pear famed for its unsavory aroma. The leaves are large and glossy, and turn orange-red for the fall.

The Cleveland Pear also exhibits greater resistance to snow, ice, and cold than other ornamental pear trees, making it suitable for the cold winters of IN.

Other Common Names: Callery Pear

Growing Zones: 5-8

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

Flowering Season: Spring

12. Flame Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)

Amur Maple
Image by Andrey Zharkikh via Flickr

The Flame Amur Maple is a small, deciduous flowering maple tree that can be also grown as a small shrub. It develops a pleasing rounded crown and can be trained into a single-trunked tree or multi-stemmed shrub.

The leaves measure 3” long and feature 3 lobes, and have a vibrant green color when mature, turning scarlet in the fall. The seeds are samaras; first red in color then turning light brown when mature, and have small wings like helicopters that can take flight in light autumnal breezes.

The Flame Amur Maple will grow in full sun or partial shade and is adaptable when it comes to soil types.

Other Common Names: Amur Maple

Growing Zones: 3-8

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

Flowering Season: April – May

13. KV’ Flowering Plum Tree (Prunus cerasefera ‘Krauter Vesuvius’) – Purple Blooms

The KV Flowering Plum Tree provides flashes of color throughout the seasons as well as cherry-sized plums. Spring sees the leaves emerge with a striking dark purple color before the delicate pink blossoms take over the canopy creating a contrasting color palette in the landscape. In the fall, the small plums are bright red, adding further color to your yard.

The compact size of the Krauter Vesuvius Plum tree means it can fit into the smallest yards and its oval canopies can provide good shade in the summer months. They are both cold and heat-hardy and can tolerate pollution and smog, making them suited for inner city areas.

Other Common Names: Myrobalan Plum, Cherry Plum

Growing Zones: 4-9

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

Flowering Season: Spring

14. Ohio Buckeye Tree (Aesculus glabra)

The Ohio Buckeye features an upright and rounded form. Being a native tree, it provides numerous benefits to the local environment, whether planted in a natural grouping or as a specimen tree.

The flowers appear or cream-yellow pannicles outside of the canopy, each with a reddish/orange center. Local pollinators including butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the blooms for several weeks. Fall sees the large leaves turn red/orange.

The Ohio Buckeye features an oval/rounded canopy that provides nesting, roosting, and feeding sites for many types of birds. Mahogany brown nuts can also be enjoyed as an ornamental feature and for the squirrels they attract. The Ohio Buckeye will tolerate wet soils as well as periodic drought, in either full sun or partial shade, and exhibits remarkable tolerance to cold.

Other Common Names: Texas Buckeye, and Horse Chestnut, Fetid Buckeye

Growing Zones: 3-7

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

Flowering Season: Spring

15. Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus)

Japanese Snowbell
Image by Thomas Quine via Flickr

The Japanese Snowbell grows happily in large areas of the United States. It features five-petaled, snow-white flowers that appear by the dozen, attractively layered across the horizontal branching.

Flowering can begin in early spring weather permitting but often takes place in late spring or early summer. The flowers give way to ornamental olive green drupes in the late summer and remain on show until fall when they nourish local wildlife.

The branches of the Japanese Snowbell tend to spread as large as the tree is tall and are usually laden with flowers and foliage, which gives the tree a drooping appearance.

Older trees display exfoliating barks which reveal the orange inner bark which is most visible in the winter which is often the least colorful period of the year. Japanese Snow Bells can be planted in full sun or partial shade in a medium moisture soil rich in organic matter and humus, in a slightly acidic medium.

Other Common Names: Japanese Styrax, Silverbells

Growing Zones: 5-9

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

Flowering Season: Spring-summer

16. Royal Star Magnolia Tree (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’)

Royal Star Magnolia flowers
Image by Lydia Fravel via Flickr

The Royal Star Magnolia comes to life in the spring with 4” double white, star-shaped flowers that practically cover the whole tree.

They also flower late, meaning freezes won’t be a problem so they can be grown in colder areas. Unlike some other Magnolias which can attain great heights, the Royal Star is smaller in size and can be trained into a large shrub or hedge.

Other Common Names: Star Magnolia

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 10-20 ft tall and 8-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

17. Crusader® Hawthorn (Crataegus crusgalli ‘Crusader’)

The Crusader Hawthorn adds abundant color throughout the year through its white flowers in the spring and vibrant red fruit in the winter. Fall sees the foliage turn purple to deep orange/red.

It features a rounded shape and is compact in size, making it suitable for smaller areas in your yard. The branches spread out horizontally, so need little maintenance to keep them looking their best.

The Crusader Hawthorn is hardy and does well in both wet and dry conditions, and can even withstand urban pollution. The white flowers attract many butterflies and other pollinators, as does the fruit, so is a good choice for wildlife enthusiasts looking to welcome more wildlife into their home landscape.

Other Common Names: Cockspur Horn

Growing Zones: 3-7

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall and 12-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: May

18. Jane Magnolia (Magnolia x ‘Jane’)

The Jane Magnolia provides an extended period of color, thanks to its pink flowers. As it flowers later than most other magnolias you won’t have to worry too much about late spring frosts.

The tulip-shaped, pink flowers add a delicate perfume to the air as the summer approaches and will continue blooming without being pruned. In warmer areas, the leaves will remain evergreen. They are smaller than many other types of magnolias making them suited to smaller yards or even for container growth.

Jane Magnolia trees will survive in a wide variety of soil types, including sand and loamy soils.

Other Common Names: Magnolia

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall and 5-10 ft wide

Flowering Season: April – May

19. Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Tulip Poplar flower
Image by Malcolm Manners via Flickr

The Tulip Poplar is neither related to the Tulip nor the Poplar but is a member of the Magnolia family. The common name comes from the large tulip-shaped flowers that grace the tree, high up in the canopy.

It features a neat, upright, and symmetrical growth habit. The Tulip Poplar is a sight to behold through the seasons. Greenish/yellow flowers with a bright orange throat cover the tree in spring and emit a pleasing fragrance. The star-shaped bright green leaves measure up to 5” and can be admired in the summer before they turn an eye-catching shade of yellow for the fall.

The Tulip Poplar can be planted as a shade tree and when planted on the southern side of your house, can reduce your energy bills significantly. It’s also an important nesting site for local birds, so is a great option for birdwatchers looking to attract more birds to their yard. It’s capable of growing up to 2ft a year in the right conditions.

Other Common Names: Yellow Poplar, Tulip Tree

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 60-90 ft tall and 30-60 ft wide

Flowering Season: May – June

20. Akebono Flowering Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis ‘Akebono’)

Akebono Flowering Cherry tree
Image by The Greenery Nursery via Flickr

The Akebono Flowering Cherry is believed to be the cherry tree with the largest blossoms. The semi-double flowers are large and pink and appear in such abundance that you’ll hardy be able to make out the branches. After the flowers are spent, the rich green leaves cover the tree, before turning golden yellow/orange in the fall.

In youth, the Akebono Cherry has an upright growth habit, becoming asymmetrical and rounded as it matures. Plant in well-drained soil. Once mature, it’ll tolerate light drought. If you’re looking for a spectacular spring flowering tree, then consider planting an Akebono Cherry in your yard today.

Other Common Names: Akebono Yoshino Cherry, Japanese Flowering Cherry ‘Akebono,’ Somei Yoshino

Growing Zones: 5-8

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

Flowering Season: Early spring

Indiana In Bloom

Flowering trees help us to connect with the cyclical nature of time, allowing us to better integrate into the natural world and dissolve any feelings of separation.

If you’re a fan of flowering trees, consider planting varieties that flower at different times, allowing you to extend the season.

Local pollinators will also thank you, as more nectar will be available for them, which can also increase your harvest of vegetables or fruit if you have any fruit trees in your garden.

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