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Southern California Flowering Trees

almond-tree image by Witold Krasowski from

Most flowering trees grow in both Southern California growing areas thanks to frost-free winters. Coastal Southern California’s mild weather receives its influence from the marine air coming from the Pacific Ocean. Inland Southern California’s landscape consists of hot, dry desert air with warmer temperatures. As long as you water your trees during their first few years of growth, these trees thrive in all areas of Southern California.

Flowering Almond

Featuring bright pink ruffled blooms that cover the length of the branches, the flowering almond steals the show each spring. After the blooms fade away, the tree’s foliage emerges and remains beautiful well into winter. Growing to four feet in height, this tree makes a great border or hedge tree. Flowering almond thrives in full to partial sun in well-drained soil as long as the tree is protected from strong winds.

Sweet Acacia

Sweet, fragrant golden yellow blooms that resemble little puffballs make this tree a beautiful addition to any garden. After the blooms fade, bean-like pods form, adding another layer of texture and interest to the garden throughout the summer. Growing up to 30 feet in height, this drought-tolerant tree requires little maintenance as long as it’s planted in full sun in well-drained soil. The tree makes a great resource for wildlife with its flowers attracting bees and butterflies.

Brazilian Butterfly Tree

For unique beauty, this flamboyant tree features five-inch wide creamy white flowers on thorny branches that bloom primarily at night, slowly fading as the day grows long. Growing to 20 feet in height, this tree thrives on full sun in well-drained soil although a bit of afternoon shade helps prolong the blossoms. Even after the leaves fall off in the winter, the tree’s twisting branches and trunk make it a focal point of the garden. Little care is required for this tree after it has established itself.

African Tulip Tree

Spectacular large bell-shaped reddish-orange flowers the size of softballs make this late-winter blooming tree a true showstopper. Growing up to 30 feet in height and width, the African tulip tree makes a great shade tree for under story plants After the plant finishes blooming, large pods form that eventually release their seeds into the air. This low-maintenance plant thrives in full sun with well-drained soil–once the plant is established with regular watering, little care is required.

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