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6 Purple Trees in Florida (not Just the Jacaranda)


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Purple trees stand out in a landscape, especially when contrasting with other flowering trees and evergreen trees.

They add an undeniable elegant touch. But this is not just my opinion, their association with the royalty goes back centuries.

A few species feature spectacular purple flowers.

In north Florida, eastern redbud is the most common but further south jacaranda and silk floss tree are the more common purple trees.

6 Stunning Purple Trees to Plant in Florida

1. Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)

Desert Willow
Image by Chic Bee via Flickr

Desert willows are defined by their spectacular, trumpet-shaped flowers that appear in the summer. They can be pink, purple, or white and are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.

Desert willows are an excellent choice for xeriscaping or living in a dry area. They are native to the arid regions of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. But you must keep in mind that to guarantee maximum health; you must irrigate this tree regularly during its first growing season.

When planting desert willows, choosing a spot with soil that drains well and gets full sun is essential. If it rains more than 30 inches a year where you live, plant your desert willow trees in raised beds to ensure water can drain. Desert willows can get root rot if they get too much water.

USDA Growing Zones: 7 – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 30 feet tall and 15 – 25 feet wide

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

2. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Eastern Redbud
Image by F Delventhal via Flickr

Eastern redbud is native to Florida. These trees are loved by many because of their heart-shaped leaves and attractive branching patterns. Their shade of purple is quite charming. The tree does not grow many leaves, creating a beautiful transparent contrast between the tree and whatever view is behind it. These trees are perfect for north Florida landscapes during the springtime.

Pollinators like these flowers. These small trees are perfect for tight, small spaces. They are also great for gardeners who want a low-maintenance tree for the understory.

They need well-drained soil and thrive in damp, somewhat rich soils. The tree produces the most beautiful flowers when exposed to full sun, but it likes partial shade during the hot summer.

Other Common Names: Judas-tree

USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 30 feet tall and 20 – 25 feet wide

Flowering Season: Early spring

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

3. Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)

Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) Tree, Flowers and Seed Pod
Images by Fern Berg, Own Work, for Tree Vitalize

Jacarandas are perhaps the most popular purple trees in the world. I’ve seen them lining the streets of many subtropical and tropical streets – from Lisbon to Cape Town.

Jacarandas have attractive fern-like leaves and beautiful lavender-purple flowers that bloom in the late spring to summer. Jacarandas are perfect if you want to add a bold splash of color to your landscape. In addition, the flowers on the Jacaranda tree attract pollinators, making your garden healthier and more vibrant.

Jacarandas are native to South America. They prefer slightly acidic and well-drained soil. Plant this tree where it will get full sun to grow the best lavender flowers. They are likely to get root rot if you plant them in soil that doesn’t drain well.

When you plant jacaranda, choosing a spot that will give the tree enough room to grow is essential. The thick layer of flowers that the Jacaranda tree leaves on the ground when its flowers fall is another essential thing to consider. It would help if you chose a place where it will be easy to rake up the flowers before they turn into slime.

Other Common names: Blue Jacaranda, Brazilian Rose Wood, Green Ebony, and Black Poui, Nupur, Fern tree

USDA Growing Zones: 9 – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 30 – 50 feet tall and 20 – 30 feet wide

Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

4. Magnolia ‘Royal Purple’ (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Royal Purple’)

Royal Purple Magnolia
Image by Tatters via Flickr

Royal purple magnolias are famous for their large, fragrant purple flowers and glossy, evergreen leaves. This is the perfect flowering tree for you if you want your landscape to stand out and have a pleasant scent. I recommend this tree for north and central Florida landscapers.

Royal purple magnolia is excellent for small and tight landscapes because of its compact size. Except for the occasional removal of dead or damaged branches, it has a low maintenance requirement.

Royal purple magnolia does best in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil and direct sunlight. They may grow in various soils but do better in slightly acidic conditions. However, protection from harsh winds is necessary for the tree’s survival.

USDA Growing Zones: 7 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 40 – 80 feet tall and 30 – 50 feet wide

Flowering Season: Late winter to early spring

5. Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

Silk Floss Tree
Image by cultivar413 via Flickr

Silk floss trees are tropical trees famous for their attractive pinkish purple or white flowers and spiky, cotton-like seed pods. They are fast-growing and are also known for their large, glossy leaves.

Silk floss trees prefer well-draining soil and direct sunlight. They tolerate a wide range of soil types but like slightly acidic soil.

When planting silk floss trees, choosing a location with enough space is crucial. Doing so will allow the tree to mature appropriately and keep it far from foot traffic because of its thorny trunk. Also, it would help if you devised a way to clean up fallen leaves and fruit pods.

Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)
Thorny Trunk of the Silk Floss Tree – Image by Fern Berg, Own Work, for Tree Vitalize

At first, the silk floss tree grows quickly, but as it ages, it grows more slowly. Silk floss trees give shade in the summer and are great if you want to add an eye-catching and exotic tree to your garden.

Other Common names: Chorisia, Floss silk tree

USDA Growing Zones: Zones 9 – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 50 – 80 feet tall and 35 – 45 feet wide

Flowering Season: Summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

6. Purple Orchid Tree (Bauhinia purpurea)

Bauhinia, Orchid Tree, Mountain Ebony (Bauhinia variegata)
Images by Fern Berg, Own Work, for Tree Vitalize

Purple orchid trees are well-known for their magnificent orchid-like purple blossoms, attractive fan-shaped leaves, and ability to flourish in hot climates. These trees are perfect for south Florida but also do well in central Florida with some winter protection.

The purple orchid tree is nearly evergreen, which makes it a perfect combination of green and purple. The color contrast brings an exciting tropical vibe to your garden, and it is just appealing to look at, especially when the sun is out. Its flowers also attract pollinators, which benefits other plants and trees in your landscape.

Purple orchid trees are native to Asia. They need soil that drains well and full sun over partial shade. They can grow in many soil types but prefer slightly acidic soil.

In traditional medicine, different parts of the purple orchid tree are used to treat different diseases and symptoms, such as heart disease, wound healing, free radicals, etc.

Other Common Names: Camel’s foot, Butterfly tree, Hawaiian orchid tree

USDA Growing Zones: 9 – 11

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 30 feet tall and 20 – 35 feet wide

Flowering Season: Late winter to early spring

Selecting Purple Flowering Trees in Florida

Purple flowering trees can add a unique and vibrant touch to any garden in Florida. From flowering trees like the majestic and revered jacaranda to the exotic purple orchid tree.

When choosing purple trees for your garden, you should consider each species’ size, Florida USDA hardiness zones, and the plant’s unique care needs.

Selecting any of these trees is an excellent idea for the aesthetics, elegance, and intrigue they each offer any landscape.

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