14 Varieties of Trees with Purple Flowers

Flowering trees are a great way to add depth and vibrancy to any garden, not to mention their ability to attract pollinators into your garden. 

When it comes to trees with purple flowers, well, they come in an array of shades, ranging from pale lilac to deep magenta, all of which are capable of providing contrast against the green foliage. 

There is a huge variety of purple flowering tree species to choose from, all of which vary in shade, size, flower shape and foliage. In this article, I cover some of my favorite species to help you decide which tree is right for you.   

Types of Trees with Purple Flowers

Depending on your landscape, the vision you have for your outdoor space, and also your climate, there are a few categories that purple blooming trees can be divided into:

Tree-Like Shrubs

Shrubs can be differentiated from trees as they have multiple stems that protrude from the ground, rather than a single trunk. Some shrubs can grow very large and often resemble true trees. 

Evergreen Trees

A great option for retaining colour and interest year-round is to invest in one or more Evergreens. As such, they are valued due to the life and colour they are able to inject into landscapes even during the winter months. 

Deciduous Trees 

Deciduous trees drop their leaves during the fall. Prior to shedding and depending on the species, the leaves turn shades of red, orange and yellow. This fiery display of leaves makes deciduous trees popular for landscaping. 

14 Varieties of Trees with Purple Flowers

From all the wonderful purple flowering trees, I have narrowed them down to fourteen of my favourites. Read on to discover a description of each and their ideal growing conditions. 

1) Chaste Tree

Scientific Name: Vitex agnus-castus

Chaste Tree
  • Ideal Position: Full sun
  • Average Mature Height: 4 to 15 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 6 to 9

The chaste tree is a fast-growing shrub. It has green palm-shaped leaves and boasts blue-purple flowers during the summer months. These blooms are fragrant and attract a variety of pollinators such as bees and butterflies. 

Chaste trees love dry, well-draining soil that is neutral to slightly acidic. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types however and will thrive in almost any condition so long as it receives full sun. Once established, chaste trees are very low maintenance.

2) Crape Myrtle 

Scientific Name: Lagerstroemia indica

Crape Myrtle 

The crape myrtle gets its name from the tiny clusters of dense flowers that mirror crepe paper in texture. These carry well through the seasons with blooms that are pink-purple in color during spring and summer and turn vibrant red-orange during the fall. Making them a beautiful addition to your backyard or front garden tree collection.  

Native to tropical climates, the crape myrtle thrives in hot and humid climates and is drought tolerant. This tree prefers moist and well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. It has some tolerance for drought. 

3) Desert Willow

Scientific Name: Chilopsis linearis

Desert Willow
Credit: Stan Shebs by CC: 3.0
  • Ideal Position: Full sun
  • Average Mature Height: 15 to 30 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 7 to 11

Despite its name, the desert willow isn’t actually a willow tree at all. It’s so-called due to the weeping posture it assumes and its long willow-like leaves. During the spring and summer, this tree produces purple, trumpet-shaped blooms with yellow centers. These showy flowers are highly fragrant and draw in hummingbirds. 

Desert willows have low moisture requirements and are drought-tolerant. They thrive under the full sun in well-draining soils with a pH between 6.6 and 8.5. These trees are ideal for dry, rock gardens and may be planted in the ground in a container. They are tough and low-maintenance trees. 

4) ‘Purple Robe’ Black Locust Tree

Scientific Name: Robinia pseudoacacia

‘Purple Robe’ Black Locust Tree
  • Ideal Position: Full sun
  • Average Mature Height: 30 to 50 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 4 to 9

The purple robe is a cultivar of the black locus tree. During the spring and summer, this tree produces fragrant, purple flowers. Its blooms attract pollinators such as hummingbirds. After the blooming season, purple-brown seed pods form among the canopy. 

Purple robe grows best in the full sun and rich soil. This tree is covered with protective thorns that make it resistant to deer and other grazers. The purple robe is cold hardy and drought tolerant and can be grown in a variety of locations. It will grow in acidic, neutral or alkaline soil. 

5) Royal Purple Smoke Tree

Scientific Name: Cotinus coggygria

Royal Purple Smoke Tree
  • Ideal Position: Full sun
  • Average Mature Height: 15 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 4 to 8

Both the blooms and the foliage of this tree are different shades of purple. This tree gets its name from its purple, fringed blooms that resemble smoke. These blooms turn a bright red in the fall. The differing purple shades create an eye-catching display of colors. 

The royal purple smoke tree requires deep watering but well-draining soil. It can grow in a variety of soil types from sand to clay. Additionally, it can tolerate a range of soil pH, from acidic to alkaline. This tree is drought and cold-tolerant and makes for a great low-maintenance tree. 

6) Green Ebony Tree

Scientific Name: Jacaranda Mimosifolia

Green Ebony Tree
  • Ideal Position: Full sun
  • Average Mature Height: 25 to 50 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 10 to 11

From late spring, this tree boasts huge clusters of violet flowers that contrast against its finely textured green foliage. The green ebony tree has an upright trunk and a rounded crown. It blooms between late spring and early summer. 
The green ebony tree thrives in warm and humid climates since it is native to South America. It grows best in moist, fertile and well-draining soil. This tree is not fussy about soil pH and can thrive in acidic, neutral or alkaline soils.

7) Ace of Hearts 

Scientific Name: Cercis Canadensis

Ace of Hearts 
  • Ideal Position: Full sun to partial shade 
  • Average Mature Height: 9 to 12 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9

Ace of Hearts is a small, deciduous tree. Its branches form a rounded crown and during the spring become adorned with vibrant magenta flowers. The blooms appear before the leaves, somewhat resembling a cherry blossom tree in appearance. The large green leaves are heart-shaped, which is where this tree received its name. 

Ace of Hearts thrives in fertile, moist and well-drained soil. It can tolerate dappled shade although it will produce the most flowers when in full sun. Ace of Hearts are hardy trees that work well in a variety of landscapes. It can tolerate acidic to alkaline soils. 

8) Hibiscus Tree

Scientific Name: Hibiscus syriacus

Hibiscus Tree
  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Average Mature Height: 12 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9

Technically a shrub, hibiscus can be pruned and trained to grow into a tree shape. Hibiscus boasts exquisite violet flowers that emerge between summer and fall. Each individual flower only lasts for one day, but they attract lots of pollinators including hummingbirds and butterflies. 

Hibiscus trees are resistant to deer, drought and even salt. They grow best in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. Bright and humid conditions will ensure you get the most out of your hibiscus blooms.

9) Texas Mountain Laurel 

Scientific Name: Sophora Secundiflora

Texas Mountain Laurel 
  • Ideal Position: Full sun to partial shade 
  • Average Mature Height: 15 to 25 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 7 to 10

Texas mountain laurel is a slow-growing, evergreen shrub. Throughout spring it displays clusters of purple-blue flowers. These blooms are sweetly scented and attract a variety of pollinators. White, fuzzy pods that turn brown follow the blooms. Its leaves are green and leathery. 

The Texas mountain laurel can be easily trained into a small tree. It grows best in fertile, well-drained soil that has neutral to alkaline pH. It is tolerant to drought and flavors dry, rocky soils and hot climates like those in Texas where it originates. 

10) Hong Kong Orchid Tree 

Scientific Name: Bauhinia X Blakeana

Hong Kong Orchid Tree 
  • Ideal Position: Full sun to partial shade 
  • Average Mature Height: 12 to 20 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 9 to 11

The Hong Kong orchid tree is showy and exotic looking. From late fall to spring it boasts purple, decorative orchids. These huge flowers can reach 6 inches in length. Not only are they attractive to people but hummingbirds also love them. Most of the leaves will drop when it’s in bloom, exposing the beautiful flowers. 

Hong Kong orchids can grow in partial shade but will have optimal growth if placed in a position where it receives direct sunlight. They prefer moist, well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. Once established, these trees are drought and frost tolerant. 

11) Jacaranda Tree

Scientific Name: Jacaranda mimosifolia

Jacaranda Tree
  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Average Mature Height: 25 to 50 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 9 to 11

The jacaranda tree can grow incredibly large – around 50 feet tall. During the spring it blooms large clusters of delicate, purple flowers. Among the purple are scatterings of green, fern-like leaves, giving it a whimsical appearance. 

Jacaranda trees should be planted in well-drained, sandy, slightly acidic soil. They thrive in warm climates and are not tolerant to frost. This tree also hates salty conditions. Lack of sunlight can negatively impact the blooms of the jacaranda tree. 

12) Fragrant Lilac  

Scientific Name: Syringa vulgaris

Fragrant Lilac
  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Average Mature Height: 8 to 15 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 4 to 7

Although fragrant lilacs are shrubs rather than trees, they can grow large and fast. During the spring and summer, cones of densely clustered lilac flowers contrast against the green foliage. There are over 200 cultivars of fragrant lilacs.

Fragrant lilacs grow best in sunny conditions but are not tolerant of overly hot or humid climates. They should be planted in well-drained, moist soil that has a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. 

13) Purple Lily Magnolia 

Scientific Name: Magnolia liliflora

Purple Lily Magnolia 
  • Ideal Position: Full to partial sun 
  • Average Mature Height: 8 to 15 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9

Relative to the magnolia tree, the purple lily magnolia produces unique blooms. During the spring, flowers that resemble lilies emerge. They are purple underneath and pale pink to white on the inside. This variety blooms later in the spring meaning its flowers and foliage appear at similar times. Its pointed, dark green leaves turn coppery bronze in the fall. 

The purple lily magnolia favours acidic soil and regular watering. The more sun this plant receives the more blooms it will produce. They should be protected from harsh winds and frosts.  

14) Chinese Wisteria

Scientific Name: Wisteria sinensis

Chinese Wisteria
  • Ideal Position: Full sun 
  • Average Mature Height: 15 to 25 feet 
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9

Chinese wisteria is a vigorously growing deciduous vine. During late spring, large clusters of purple flowers densely cover the tree’s branches. The blooms droop down to create a hanging canopy. These flowers give off a sweet fragrance that attracts pollinators. 

Chinese wisteria grows best in fertile, well-drained soil that is neutral to slightly acidic. They are hardy trees that can adapt to a variety of environments. This tree is also drought-tolerant, deer-tolerant and disease resistant. 

Trees with Purple Flowers Care 

Although the specific care requirements are different for each species of tree, there are a few general tips you can follow to ensure your tree stays happy and healthy. 

Watering Requirements

Young trees should receive frequent watering to help them become established. Mature trees are generally drought-tolerant and don’t require watering. However, if it’s very hot and arid they may require some supplementary watering.

Positioning

All the trees on this list grow best in the full sun, ideally a minimum of 6 hours every day. High sun exposure tends to see maximum growth and flowering, whilst too much shade results in the opposite. 

Temperature and Humidity

Humidity and temperature tolerance fluctuate between species and tends to be based on where that particular tree originates from. For example, the crape myrtle thrives in hot and humid climates as it is native to the tropics. 

Soil Conditions

As a rule of thumb, trees should be planted in moist, well-draining soil. These conditions allow the tree to absorb essential nutrients without becoming waterlogged. However, there are some exceptions, including the desert willow which prefers dry soil. Many trees are fairly tolerant to a range of soil pHs. 

Propagation 

Although trees can be grown from seeds, this process can be a difficult and lengthy one. The best way to propagate trees is through stem cuttings. Pick a healthy branch and cut just below a nodule. Plant the cutting in a container with potting soil and watering it regularly. 

If you have enjoyed this article, here’s a link to Hawaiian Flowers that you may also enjoy.

Purple Flowering Trees FAQ

Are pollinators attracted to purple flowers?

Different pollinators favor different colored and scented flowers. Purple flowers are most attractive to bees, predominantly honeybees. Purple flowers also produce the highest amounts of nectar. 

Is my small garden suitable for purple flowering trees?

Whilst some species can grow very large, there are plenty of small and compact species. Some small purple flowering trees include the lavender twist tree and fragrant lilacs. 

Citations

Website | + posts

Ben's horticultural interest grew when graduating from Hertfordshire University in 1997. Having contributed to numerous publications including Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design Magazine, and The English Garden. He is also the author of Propagating Houseplants Made Easy.