Flowering trees in Florida are abundant, both in the wild and cultivated as landscape ornamentals. Three distinct climate zones in Florida--north, central, and south--dictate which trees will grow best in a particular location. A beautiful flowering tree that grows in south Florida will not necessarily grow well in the northern region of the state. Site selection and cultivation practices are very important to the growth and health of flowering trees.
Crepe myrtyle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a relatively small deciduous (leaves shed at the end of a growing season) tree that commonly grows 20 feet tall, but can reach a height of 40 feet. This tree prefers full sun locations and a variety of well-drained soils, but is not salt tolerant. Crepe myrtle trees may have white, pink, red, or purple flowers in big, showy clusters and grows in all areas of Florida.
Royal poinciana (Delonix regia) is a large-branched deciduous tree with a wide spreading canopy of leaves and scarlet flowers. Royal poinciana reaches heights up to 40 feet tall, but the spread of its canopy is often twice that. This tree prefers full sun, a variety of well-drained soils and has slight salt tolerance. It is often used as a landscape ornamental and only grows in south Florida.
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is an evergreen tree with a pyramidal shape that grows up to 100 feet in height with a 50- to 60-foot spread. Magnolia flowers are very large and showy—up to 8 inches across, white, waxy and very fragrant. Magnolia trees grow in north and central Florida. For best flowering, southern magnolia prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade, a variety of soils, and is moderately salt tolerant.
Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is a deciduous tree that grows up to 40 feet tall. Dogwood flowers are small, but have showy, petal-like bracts. It is native to Florida, but only grows in the north and central parts of the state. Dogwood trees prefer full sun to partial shade, nutrient-rich, well-drained, acid soils, and are slightly salt tolerant.
Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a deciduous tree, commonly seen 20 to 40 feet tall with a 25- to 35-foot spread. Its flowers are rosy-pink, pea-like clusters. For best flowering, redbud trees prefer full sun, but will also tolerate partial shade. This tree withstands dry, hot conditions and a variety of well-drained soils, but is not salt tolerant. Eastern redbud grows in north and central Florida.
Trumpet tree (Tabebuia argentea) is a deciduous or semi-deciduous tree or shrub with a variable height, but is often seen 40-feet tall with a 25-foot spread. This tree grows in full sun or partial shade on a variety of soil types and its salt tolerance varies with the species. Trumpet trees have pink, red, yellow, white or purple trumpet-shaped flower clusters 2- to 3-inches long. Used as specimen trees or patio trees, trumpet trees grow only in south Florida.
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