The color purple stands out in the landscape, a spot of brightness against green grass and foliage. Many favorite ornamental trees sport purple blossoms in shades of pale lavender to almost magenta. To utilize these trees in the landscape, plant a single specimen, or a grouping of the same variety.
American redbud (Cercis canadensis) blooms very early in the spring, before leaves are on most trees. The deep pink to purple blossoms cover twigs and smaller branches.These trees grow wild in woodland areas of the East, South and Midwest, from Pennsylvania to Virginia, to Texas and Oklahoma. The heart-shaped leaves turn yellow in the fall. Trees range from large shrubs to 30 feet in height. The trunks are slender and sometimes twisted.
Crapemyrtle trees (Lagerstroemia sp.) are a favorite ornamental tree of the southern United States. Blossoms range from white to lavender to deep pink or purple, and adorn the upright branches of the trees through much of the summer. Crapemyrtle tolerates heat and dry conditions well. After the flowers fade, the tree produces berries that are popular food for birds. Catawba and Dwarf Royalty are two purple cultivars.
The jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) is a large, spreading tree with delicate, fern-like foliage. The purple, trumpet-shaped flowers blossom on the ends of stems from early spring to mid-summer. The lightly scented flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. Jacaranda trees may grow up to 40 feet tall. The trees are cold hardy and tolerate a wide variety of climate conditions.
Texas Mountain Laurel
The grape-like clusters of purple blossoms on Texas mountain laurel trees (Sophora secundiflora) have a sweet, almost overpowering perfume that some have compared to the aroma of grape soda. The foliage is evergreen, an attractive dark green. Mountain laurel trees prefer alkaline soil and well-drained areas where winter temperatures are moderate. The trees range in height from 6 to 12 feet.
Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) produces cup-shaped flowers, which bloom purple in many varieties. The flowers appear before the leaves in the spring. Burgandy and San Jose are two purple-flowering cultivars. Saucer Magnolias grow slowly, but may eventually reach 25 feet in height. They are hardy in USDA Zones 5 through 9.