You can enjoy the unique pop of color that trees with purple flowers offer on any landscape, even if you have a very small yard that requires more compact or dwarf cultivars. The trees with purple flowers on the list offer shades of violet, purple, lavender and more, and they can contrast nicely with the foliage. You can find trees with purple flowers at your local nurseries, and many of them double as fantastic shade trees.
We’ve picked out a host of 23 of the most beautiful trees with purple flowers for you to consider incorporating into your landscape or garden. We’ll also outline how to keep them happy and thriving year after year.
1. Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
The Chaste tree technically isn’t a tree with purple flowers, but it grows large enough to pass for a dwarf cultivar. This is actually a quick-growing shrub that belongs to the Verbena family. This tree-like shrub will offer greenish-gray foliage with a palm shape, and it smells just as nice as the violet and blue flowers that it produces in the early summer to the early autumn. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and pollinators are very attracted to this tree with purple flowers due to the fragrance.
This tree adores well-draining and dry soil, and once it establishes itself, you’ll never have to water it. The poorer the soil is, the better this tree does. They’ll even tolerate road salt without any issues as long as they get a lot of direct sunlight. You will need to prune this tree annually if they don’t die back during very cold snaps. They’ll grow into multi-stemmed shrub shape, and a lot of nurseries plan on pruning them back to a single stem, and you can too without damaging it.
2. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
This tree with purple flowers produces tiny, dense clusters of blooms that look like crepe paper with the texture, and this is where it got the name. The darker green foliage contrasts with the red, pink, or purple blooms until it turns a bright orange color in the autumn months. This tree was once thought to be a tree that only grows in tropical, warm regions. However, there are now cultivars that do better in milder temperature ranges, even as far north as Portland.
This purple flowering cultivar still adores the humidity and heat. It does best when you plant it in zones seven to nine, and it’ll survive colder climates. It will die back to the ground as the weather gets colder and regrows in the spring. If you choose to train it to grow like a tree, the bare winter bark offers a pretty mottled color.
3. Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis ‘Burgundy’)
This tree with purple flowers may not be a true willow tree, but it does grow in a very dramatic weeping fashion. This tree has deciduous leaves that are feathery and long like a willow tree has, but this is the end of the similarities. It can get between 15 and 30 feet tall at full maturity, and during the spring and summer months, it produces big clusters of burgundy, fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers.
Hummingbirds love how these flowers smell, and they’ll flock to the tree when they’re in bloom to take nectar from the trumpet-shaped blooms. This is a very drought-tolerant tree with purple flowers, and it likes full sun with a very well-draining soil. The low moisture needs makes them stand out in xeriscapes or rock gardens.
Even though this tree can get very large when you plant it in the ground, they make surprisingly great container plants. You just have to water them slightly more if you plant them in a container, particularly when the summer starts to heat up.
4. Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Dogwoods are one tree that has a reputation for growing brilliant white flowers, but this cultivar is known as Purple Glory for one very big reason. When the spring and early summer rolls around, the flowers are a reddish-maroon color. However, this tree with purple flowers actually has year-round purple foliage.
This tree will thrive if you plant it in zones five to nine, but they do need a consistent amount of moisture. They can grow very well in much cooler climates as long as they have access to sun. They’ll top out at 15 to 20 feet tall at full maturity, and they can spread roughly the same amount. So, you’ll have to give the tree plenty of space when you plant it.
5. Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis’ Ruby Falls’)
The Ruby Falls Eastern Redbud is a very compact tree with a weeping habit that offers very rich heart-shaped, burgundy foliage that will turn yellow in the fall before it drops the leaves during the winter months. It showcases a stunning canopy of rich reddish-purple flowers in the early spring, and it makes a great addition to your woodland or zen garden. It does very well when you plant it in zones five to nine, and it needs full sun or partial shade to do well. This tree isn’t very tolerant of drought, and it requires regular watering. This goes double for when the weather gets hot.
6. Fragrant Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Fragrant lilac trees technically fall into the shrub category, but they can grow quite large in a short amount of time. In spring and summer, the bright green foliage will give way to cones of flower clusters in purple, lavender, and lilac, and this is where the name comes from. There are over 200 cultivars of this tree with purple flowers, and some will stay compact while others grow very tall. There’s so much hybridization going on that some varieties can do very well in virtually any planting zone. However, they usually do best in zones four to seven, and they like well-draining soil in full sun.
7. Hibiscus Tree (Hibiscus syriacus)
Commonly known as the Rose of Sharon, this is a multi-stemmed shrub that you can train to grow into a tree. However, some cultivars, including the Purple Pillar, will grow naturally in a single vertical stem column. Butterflies and hummingbirds love this tree with purple flowers because they bloom continuously from the middle of summer well into the fall, and each blossom lasts for a day.
This tree with purple flowers grows best in zones five to nine, and they like full sun with a well-draining soil. They’re usually drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and they can be tolerant of salt. They can get up to 12 feet tall, and you can propagate them using cuttings because some will produce sterile seeds.
8. Jacaranda Tree (Jacaranda mimosifolia)
In Southern Florida, this tree with purple flowers announces springtime with the fern-like foliage and the large blooms. The Jacaranda Tree will bloom very early in the spring with clusters of flowers that are up to a foot long and several inches wide, and the tree will top out at over 50 feet. A lot of the trees on the list are very versatile and can thrive in different climates, but this one is much more demanding. It is limited to zones 9b to 11 in sandy soil and full sun. However, it doesn’t like salt, so you should keep it away from the ocean.
9. Korean Lilac Tree (Syringa pubescens)
If you live in a less tropical region but adore the Jacaranda tree’s flowers, this tree with purple flowers is a nice compromise. It’s much more petite, and it gets a maximum of 10 feet tall. However, in the spring, just a few weeks after other lilac bushes, trees, and shrubs, it’ll produce pinkish-lavender tubular flowers. It grows in zones four to eight, and it can tolerate extreme cold or road salt without any damage. As long as you get occasional rain and have it in a full sun location, this tree is virtually maintenance-free.
10. Lavender Twist (Cercis canadensis ‘Covey’)
As you can tell by the name, this is a pretty tree with purple flowers that has a weeping growth habit, and it’s a relative of the Eastern Redwood. This is a very unique tree as the weeping branches twist and contort to form a twiggy canopy with an umbrella shape that blooms in pink-lavender flowers. However, this tree does tend to stay very short, and this makes it nice for tight spaces. It grows best when you plant it in zones five to nine, and it loves to be in an area that gets full sun. You’ll want to feed it once a year in the spring with a shrub and tree food and make sure you water it regularly. If you do, it’ll reward you with a host of butterflies and birds who love the flowers.
11. Magnolia’ Royal Purple’ (Magnolia x soulangeana)
The Royal Purple magnolia cultivar is a tree with purple flowers that people refer to as the saucer magnolia. This name comes from the fact that it produces huge purple and white blooms that can get up to eight inches across and fill the space with a heady fragrance. It will mature to be roughly 30 feet tall and have a rounded canopy.
This tree with purple flowers loves acidic, moist, and well-draining soil with partial shade or full sun. They do need a little protection from the wind, but you should be very careful if you plant them against the house where they have southern exposure. All of the artificial warmth they get in this space can make the buds open too early in the spring, and this can lead to frost or cold damage.
12. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Mountain laurel is a tree with purple flowers that is a cousin to the rhododendrons that are native to the United States. This is a smaller tree that will get roughly 15 feet tall, but some cultivars get up to six feet to make them great for cramped spaces or smaller yards. The flowers on this tree will burst with white, pink, or red coloring with rich purple streaks in the early summer or late spring months.
This tree with purple flowers grows best in zones five to nine, and it’s very tolerant of a huge range of growing conditions. They can survive in anything from full sun to deep shade, but they prefer something right in the middle that is very close to partial shade. This reduces the risks of scorching while maximizing the flower growth.
13. Princess Tree (Paulownia Tomentosa)
The princess or empress tree is a very fast-growing option that has very fragrant light purple flowers. They come in panicles before the leaves show up on the tree for the season, and they have a tubular shape that is up to 2 ¼ inches long. They look very close to foxglove, and this is why many people call this tree with purple flowers the foxglove tree. Once the flowers fade, they give way to capsules that hide in the foliage.
The leaves on this tree with purple flowers are huge, and they can get between 6 and 16 inches across. They have five lobes with a mid-green coloring, and this tree is seeing a huge popular surge due to the interest in the wood. It can get up to 12 feet tall in a year, and it’s a nice option to have for fast results in your informal garden settings. It allows you to get structure and shade in a short time with a little amount of effort. You will need to water it a lot if you want to grow it as a specimen tree or in groups of larger trees.
14. Purple Leaf Plum (Prunus cerasifera ‘Krauter Vesuvius’)
This unique tree with purple flowers offers leaves that aren’t the traditional green color, but they’re a dark, rich reddish-purple coloring all year round. They also have pink or white flowers in the spring that look very close to Japanese Cherry Blossoms, and they stand out very nicely against the darker purple foliage.
These trees grow well in zones four to nine, but they thrive if you plant them in zones five to eight. They like partial shade to full sun, but the leaves will look much more green and less purple in more shaded spaces. They need you to water them weekly until they establish themselves, and this is when they get drought-tolerant. At this point, they only need water on the hottest days of the summer months.
15. Purple Lily Magnolia (Magnolia liliiflora)
Even though it shares a name with a close relative, the Magnolia tree, this tree with purple flowers is much different from the traditional Magnolias. It produces large white flowers that are purple on the underside, and this creates a stunning backdrop when they flower during the spring months. They love to be in a space with acidic soil and regular watering as they grow, and they’ll only require deep watering once in a while when they establish. They like to grow in zones five to nine, and you can grow trees from cuttings of mature trees.
16. Purple Orchid Tree (Bauhinia Purpurea)
Also called the Butterfly Tree, this tree with purple flowers will give you three or five-inch flowers that are very fragrant and come in a magenta coloring. It offers pretty heart-shaped leaves that can grow branching and big or weeping and impact, depending on how you choose to prune it as it matures.
Unlike most of the trees with purple flowers on the list that have to go into the ground to do well, the Purple Orchid Tree will do okay in an outdoor or indoor container. Smaller pots mean tighter root formation, and this means a more compact plant. So, if you want to grow it in a pot, look for one that is 14 inches deep and 16 inches across until you see how big it’ll get.
17. Purple Robe Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia’ Purple Robe’)
This tree with purple flowers is a bigger option that has grayish-red leaves. They get up to 40 feet tall at full maturity, and they tend to bloom early in the summer months to produce purple, fragrant, wisteria-like blooms. It grows very well if you plant it in zones four to eight, and it likes rich soil with full sun. It’s a deer-resistant and drought-tolerant plant due to the protective thorns. They make fantastic trees for growing right along the street or in difficult landscape spots where other trees struggle to survive. You should avoid pruning them in the springtime because this tree with purple flowers is prone to bleeding.
18. Purple Wisteria Tree (Wisteria Sinensis)
This is one of the most well-known trees with purple flowers, and it’s also one of the most recognizable when you see it. It can get up to 15 feet high at full maturity, and it produces purplish-blue blooms in clusters that drip from the vines in the summertime. These trees perform very well in zones five to nine, and they’re very adaptable in this range. They’re deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and they resist diseases naturally. Butterflies and hummingbirds love them too.
19. Royal Purple Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’)
This dramatic-looking and strange tree with purple flowers is one that never fails to make an impression. It offers very dark purple foliage with pretty fringed blooms that look like smoke. During the fall, it slowly changes to a stunning red color. It grows well when you plant it in zones four to eight, and it requires full sun with deep watering sessions once in a while to keep it happy. Other than that, this is a very low-maintenance choice for your landscape. It’s also very tolarnet to the cold, unlike many of the trees with purple flowers on the list, and this makes it well-suited for northern gardens.
20. Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)
The Silk Floss Tree is a contender for one of the strangest trees with purple flowers on the list, and it’ll get up to 60 feet tall with branches that form an umbrella-like canopy. This tree will drop the leaves before it blooms in the fall. They offer very eye-catching purple and pink flowers when they bloom, and it makes it look like something straight out of a fairytale. It has a wide range of uses, and you can use the wood to create wood pulp, canoes, and paper. The bark works well to braid into a rope, and the seeds can get pressed to make vegetable oil. It grows well in zones 9 to 11.
Ceiba speciosa by Under the Same Moon / CC BY 2.0
21. Takasago Flowering Cherry (Prunus sieboldii)
Most Japanese Cherry Tree cultivars will produce early spring blooms in pink and white, but this one produces flowers with a lavender coloring that contrasts nicely with the bronze foliage. They can get up to 20 feet tall, and they have a very low canopy on them that sits roughly two feet above the ground. This tree with purple flowers has a more limited range, and it’ll only grow in zone 5b. However, with the right maintenance and care, it can survive for up to 50 years. It’s tolerant of city pollution, and you can safely plant it under power lines.
22. Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora Secundiflora)
This technically isn’t a tree with purple flowers, but it’s an evergreen shrub that grows very slowly and will fit into small gardens with the bluish-purple flowers. They form in thick clusters of fragrant blooms, and they smell like a sweet mixture of soda and bubblegum to attract hordes of pollinators. They produce off-white, fuzzy pods after the flowers fade, and the foliage is very leathery and pinnate with an olive green coloring. It grows very well if you plant it in zones 7 to 10 in partial shade to full sun.
This shrub can top out at 25 feet tall with a 10-foot spread, so you do want to give it space when you plant it to grow into. The soil should be average fertility and a quick-draining loam, sand, or clay based mix that offers a mildly alkaline pH level. It tolerates rocky soil and drought very well.
23. Texas Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus)
Also known as the American Smoke Tree, this is a multi-trunked tree with purple flowers that are 6 to 10 inch clusters. The coloring can be anything from a very deep purple to a grayish-red, and they have thin, long petioles that look like a small puff of smoke when they bloom. At full maturity, this tree can range from 15 to 30 feet tall, and they like full sun to partial shade with a well-draining soil.
Cotinus Obovatus late evening at Kew Gardens – 2 by Andrew Ward / CC BY-NC 2.0
We hope this gave you some inspiration on the best trees with purple flowers to consider adding to your landscape. If you want to spice up your yard with your favorite shade of purple, these dramatic trees can fit in perfectly. A lot of the trees with purple flowers on the list can act as privacy screens, shrubs, and accent plants to your landscape design. To enjoy your trees to the fullest, you should remember to take our regional climate into account and the maintenance requirements. Whether you’re a novice or expert gardener, there is a wonderful tree with purple flowers for you.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.