The Midwest is known for its agricultural bounty. The same rich, black soil that allows this area to produce corn and beans in such great quantities also nourishes a wide variety of flowering trees and plants. While the growing season--late April through October--is not as long as in some parts of the country, residents enjoy not only the fruits of the fields but the feast for their eyes provided by the Midwest's flowering trees and plants.
Best Midwest Flowering Trees
Magnolia trees are the first to bloom in most parts of the Midwest. Their sweet-scented flowers come in shades of pink, white and purple. These trees grow 20 to 25 feet tall and not quite as wide. Crabapple trees bloom in May; their super-fragrant flowers bloom pink, red and white. There are a wide variety of crabapples from which to choose. Some are more prone to disease than others. They grow to be 10 to 30 feet tall and spread out about the same distance. Redbuds have pinkish-purple blossoms and grow to 15 or 20 feet in height and spread.
Best Midwestern Flowering Bushes
Forsythias herald the arrival of spring. Their bright yellow flowers are a welcome sight after the long Midwestern winter. They grow from 3 to 8 feet tall and bloom for a couple of weeks. Fothergillas do well in the shade. Their white blossoms smell as sweet as honey and their dark green leaves turn yellow, orange or red in the fall. Fothergillas grow to be 2 to 5 feet tall. Some varieties of rhododendrons do well in the Midwest, including PJM, which has lavender-pink flowers, and Olga, with its peachy-pink blooms. Both are evergreens with dark green leaves that turn burgundy in the fall and last all winter.
More Flowering Bushes
Vanhoutte spireas, or bridal wreaths, have long, draping stems covered with tiny, lightly scented white flowers. They grow from 3 to 8 feet tall. Viburnums grow 5 to 8 feet tall; their flowers start out pink but reveal white blossoms as they open completely. Their fruit starts out red and turns black later in the season. No list of the best Midwestern flowering plants would be complete without the lilac. Lilacs, loved for their intoxicating fragrance, come in light and dark purple or white. They grow 6 to 15 feet tall and require a sunny spot.