Are you searching for white flowering trees? There are dozens of white flowering trees you can add to your landscape design that offer spring, summer, and fall blooms. White hued flowers work to brighten up the garden day in and day out, and some will produce smaller and more delicate flower clusters while others offer huge blooms that are truly show-stopping.
A lot of the white flowering trees you can pick out also offer a pleasant fragrance that attracts pollinators and bees to the area. Below, we’ll outline several of the most popular options you can consider purchasing and adding to your yard or garden this season.
1. American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
Depending on how much you water it, this white flowering tree will be either a small tree or a big shrub. In most of North America east of the Mississippi River, it gets roughly 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide at full maturity. It reproduces using suckers, so you have to clear the ground around the base if you don’t want it to spread. You’ll get flat displays of white flowers in the early summer months. In most climates, this white flowering tree will put on a show in June and July. The flowers are lemon-scented, and they attract butterflies and bees to the area. Additionally, they feed birds and produce black berry clusters in later summer or early fall.
You can pick ripe elderberries and process them to use them in jellies, jams, wines, and herbal medicines, but any other part of this white flowering tree is toxic. American elderberries like full sun, but they can grow decently in partial shade. They need soil that drains well but stays continuously moist, and it tolerates zones three to nine without any issues.
2. American Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)
Growing in zones four to eight, these white flowering trees should be at the top of everyone’s list. They’re native to the United States, and it’s a medium-sized tree that gives you interest all year-round when you plant it. In the late spring to early summer months, depending on where you are, you’ll see 15-inch long chains of creamy white flowers that attract pollinators and release a light fragrance.
This tree gives you a show well into the autumn months because it has medium-green leaves that will slowly change to a bright gold color as the temperatures drop. To get the best show out of this white flowering tree, you should plant it in an area that has well-draining but fertile soil in full sun. You can grow it in partial shade too, but you’ll sacrifice flower production.
3. Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia spp)
Angel’s trumpet is a white flowering tree of a medium size that will happily grow in zone 11 as a tree, and it’ll grow as a bigger shrub at the northern limits of this range, and in zones 9 and 10. It produces white, large, flowers in a trumpet shape that will hang down on separate stems. Any gardener in cold-winter climates can train this white flowering tree to grow in a container. In turn, you can bring it in and protect it from the freezing winter temperatures. This plant does love full sun, but it can tolerate a small amount of shade in the afternoon if you live in a sunny and hot climate.
4. Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)
This is a very large shrub or a small tree that will grow in the wild as far south as Alabama or as far north as Newfoundland. It will produce pink or white flowers in the late spring months that slowly give way to black betters at summer’s end. The fruit is far too sour to eat raw, but you can make fantastic jellies and jams if you add a huge amount of sugar. This white flowering tree is easy to start using a cutting, and the best time to take cuttings to start a new tree is in the middle of summer.
The best way to use this white flowering tree is as a bird habitat or privacy screen in a mass planting, so the tree’s tendency to reproduce from the trunk isn’t a huge issue. This plant is a nice pick for areas in your garden that don’t drain well, and it grows happily in zones three to eight.
5. Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Buttonbush is one white flowering tree that produces pincushion flowers with white petals and golden stamens. It will bloom in the early summer months, and you can expect to see flowers in May in the extreme southern portion of the United States and in June in the rest of the growing zones. This plant is very attractive to butterflies, bees, bats, and a range of other pollinators.
The tolerance this white flowering tree has to wet soil makes it a very popular tree to plant around your water features like ponds. It will thrive if you plant it in full sun and tolerate partial shade, but it needs very rich soil with compost mixed in at least once a year. It’s a winter-hardy plant in zones five to nine.
6. Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
This white flowering tree is very popular for landscaping use as it can get between 20 and 40 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide, so it’s great for filling in big dead spaces. This tree is usually upright and cylindrical, and this makes them perfect for narrow spaces. During the spring months, the tree produces bright white blooms.
However, the odor the flowers release isn’t pleasant. The branches also tend to break relatively easily in stronger winds. Some cultivars of this white flowering tree include Aristocrat, Capital, and Autumn Blaze. You can find this tree growing in planting zones five to eight.
7. Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina)
As the name suggests, this white flowering tree is native to South and North Carolina. In the lowlands, this tree can easily reach 30 to 40 feet high, but if they grow in the rainier areas in the Appalachian Mountains, they can get over 60 feet. The whie, small, bell-shaped flowers show up in early spring in March or April when the leaves start to show. It can tolerate colder winters and dry, hot summers. They do need well-drained but moist soils, and they grow best in zones four to eight.
8. Crabapple (Malus sylvestris)
If you like white flowers in the spring, crabapple trees are a good investment for your property. They are medium to small trees that will give you a nice crop of apples in the fall months. They can get between 15 and 25 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide, and they have an upright, rounded, or open shape.
This white flowering tree can easily adapt to different soil conditions, but they’d like a well-drained but slightly moist soil. The trees will flower in the middle of spring for two weeks, and you can find them growing in zones four to eight. The frost tolerance levels in this tree will depend on the cultivar you get, but the majority of them will take a lot of damage from the frost.
9. Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
The fringe tree is a very small specimen that will get up to 20 feet high at full maturity. This white flowering tree is native to the eastern portion of the United States, and it produces big clusters of off-white blooms with fringe-like petals. Once the flowering season draws to a close in June, they start to produce black fruit in July. These trees are very attractive to birds.
This is a fantastic ornamental tree to have in an urban landscape as it tolerates air pollution and lots of traffic moving on the roots without any damage. You’ll typically find this white flowering tree planted in small groups in partial shade, but they can tolerate full sun. It requires moist but well-drained soil and zones three to nine.
10. Giant Dogwood (Cornus controversa)
As the name suggests, this white flowering tree is a very big option that is native to Japan and China. It has a history of being imported to the southeastern portion of North America. It can get between 30 and 40 feet tall and spread between 25 and 40 feet at full maturity. It gives you flat clusters of pretty white flowers in the late spring months, usually after other dogwoods have flowered. It’s common to use this tree as a shade tree.
Giant Dogwoods require an area that has well-drained, moist, but acidic soil. They do very well in wetter climates in zones five to eight. Cornus Florida grows in the exact same conditions, but it offers pink flowers along with white.
11. Hawthorn ‘Winter King’ (Crataegus viridis)
Growing in zones three to nine, this white flowering tree is medium-sized. It makes a fantastic specimen plant in your yard as it has a nice rounded shape with bright great leaves. It also offers a silvery-gray bark coloring and masses of smaller white flowers in the spring months. By the time September comes around, you’ll get red berries that cover the tree and stay on during the winter months to attract birds like robins and waxwings. It’s a disease-resistant cultivar, and it is virtually thornless, unlike most hawthornes.
12. Ivory Silk Lilac (Syringa reticulata)
Ivory Silk Lilacs grow best in zones three to seven, and it’s a white flowering tree that puts on a show when the early bloomers have already wrapped up for the year. So, they typically bloom late in June. You’ll see fluffy flower panicles that are up to a foot long, and they have a creamy white coloring. This is also a very fragrant flower, and it works to attract bees and pollinators in droves. It can top out at 20 feet tall with a similar spread under the correct conditions.
13. Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)
As the latin name suggests with this white flowering tree, it offers blooms that are camellia-like and have creamy petals with bright orange coloring in the center. They grow well in zones five to eight, and it’s not a plant that blooms early in the spring. Instead, it’ll start to flower in the middle of summer. Once the pretty flowers start to fade, the brown pointed seed pods start to replace them.
This is a fantastic addition to your landscape if you’re after multi-season interest. The deep green leaves with the stunning white flowers will carry you through spring and summer, and the exfoliating bark is another interest point. Once they mature, this white flowering tree can get 20 feet wide and 30 to 40 feet tall.
14. Kobus Magnolia (Magnolia kobus)
If you’re after a creamy white color on your magnolias, this white flowering tree is a nice pick. It will bloom in February or March each year and flower for two to three weeks before the leaves start to show. This tree offers a fun pyramid shape when it’s young, but it’ll spread out to reach the 25 to 30 foot mature height relatively quickly.
This is a very impressive specimen to see on your lawn, but since it has such a slow growth habit, many people prefer to use it as a hedge. It prefers to be in an area that gets full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade well. It needs well-drained, rich soil to thrive, and you want to plant it in zones five to eight. The bull magnolia will tolerate slightly warmer conditions, and it also produces white flowers.
15. Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
This is a very pretty small tree that does well planted in zones five to eight, and it offers white flowers with year-round visual appeal. It can get between 15 and 25 feet tall, and it will slowly create a horizontal branch structure as the tree ages. This white flowering tree will bloom for six weeks from late in the spring until early summer before the blooms fade and get replaced with showy berry-like fruits that hang around until the fall months.
The foliage on this dogwood is another interesting point in the fall because it turns a very rich purplish-red hue. It’s also a nice tree to have around in the winter months because the pretty branch structure is highly visible, and the cinnamon-colored bark stands out against the stone. Wolf Eyes is a very popular cultivar with variegated foliage and big white flowers.
16. Limelight Hydrangea Tree (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’)
This stunning hydrangea tree is the perfect ornamental specimen to stick into smaller spaces. This white flowering tree is a very vigorous grower, and you can shape it into a tree form that will bring the showy flowers right to your eye level. It grows very well in full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade. You can harvest the plants for cut flower bouquets or dry them so they last all winter. It’s easy to care for, does wonderfully in containers, and it’s beginner-friendly.
17. Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa)
The distinctive five-petaled flowers this white flowering tree offers will stay around through most of the growing season, including through spring and summer. In warmer climates, this plant will produce small plum-red fruit and white flowers. The plums taste like cranberries, and you can easily use them in jams and jellies. Since this tree tolerates salt, it’s a favorite addition in seaside gardens or yards. It prefers to be in a location that gets afternoon shade, but it can also tolerate full sun. You want to plant it in windy locations in zones 9 and 10.
18. Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
Growing well in zones three to seven, Ohio Buckeye is a medium-sized tree that produces white flowers and has layers of appeal starting and spring and going through fall. The foliage will create a fan of bright green leaves, and a few weeks later in the middle of spring, it’ll form upright flower spikes that go above the palm-shaped foliage. When autumn arrives, this white flowering tree turns a coppery-bronze color with rounded fruits and a nut-like seed. On average, this tree gets up to 25 feet high. However, in ideal growing conditions, it can get up to 35 feet tall with a rounded, tidy form.
19. Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata)
You can grow orange jasmine as a small tree or a bigger shrub in subtropical or tropical climates, or you can grow it as a container plant to protect it from freezing and frost in the winter months. You’ll get green, glossy, citrus-like evergreen leaves all year round when you plant it, and it has inch-wide white flowers several times throughout the year. The flowers are very attractive to bees, and the birds will eat the small fruit.
Orange Jasmine grows very well in acidic and alkaline soils, and it can survive in tight clay or loose sandy soils. It prefers a fertile loam, and you can grow it as a hedge plant if you live in zones 10 to 12. In colder climates, it has to be a container plant.
20. Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp)
Serviceberry grows well in zones four to eight, and they’re native to the United States. This is one of the earliest white flowering trees to bloom during the springtime, and the branches get draped in clouds of smaller white flowers. It doesn’t produce flowers for long, but they’ll eventually get replaced by berry-like fruits that birds like robins, waxwings, and blue jays adore. This tree is also the larval host plant for butterflies. It’s a very hardy tree that grows best in an area with partial shade to full sun, and it works very well in your woodland gardens.
21. Spirea (Spiraea prunifolia)
Bridal Wreath Spirea is a big shrub that can double as a small white flowering tree with the right care. It has wispy limbs that fill with white flowers just before the leaves emerge each spring. The flowers fall in the summer months, but the leaves will stick around and turn shades of yellow, orange, and gold in the autumn months.
This plant works very well in borders or as a foundation plant. It requires moist but well-drained soil and full sun to thrive. It can withstand winter months in zones five to eight, but it can survive for several years in zone nine until a very hot summer comes along.
22. Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
Growing in zones four to eight, this white flowering tree will give you a huge show of fragrant white flowers in the spring months that look like starbursts, hence the name. The flowers stretch three to five inches across, and they offer several strap-like petals. It will mature to roughly 20 feet tall and offers a very nice rounded shape to turn it into a pretty specimen tree. When it blooms in the spring, it offers a huge amount of blossoms per tree. Magnolias do best when you plant them in partial shade to full sun in a well-draining but fertile soil.
23. White Chiffon® Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Notwoodtwo’)
As a pretty shrub that you can shape like a white flowering tree, the Rose of Sharon is a must-have for your landscape or garden design. You can add it to a moon garden or pop it into a pot and set it on the back porch. It loves to be in a sunny location, and it’ll bloom from summer until the late fall months and offer pure white, big flowers. It works well as a focal point or as a background plant for more brightly colored flowers. It’s aso deer-resistant, and it grows best in zones five to nine.
24. White Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
There are several cultivars of this white flowering tree that do well in zones four to nine, and both Alba and Royal White bloom in early spring. The Eastern Redbud is a small, multi-trunked tree that has a rounded canopy. The flowers fill in the bare branches until the tree is dripping with them, and both Alba and Royal White will give you pure white flowers. If you don’t have a lot of space, Royal White is slightly more compact.
25. Yoshino Cherry Tree (Prunus x yedoensis)
As a fast-growing deciduous tree, this white flowering tree will give you pale pink or white flowers. It’s a wonderful addition to your landscape, and it grows well in zones five to eight. The foliage turns pretty red shades in the fall months. If you want to add this tree to your yard, you should prune the thin branches to allow the cherry tree to breathe. It’s prone to developing issues with insects or fungal diseases otherwise. These are the same trees that grow in Washington DC and bloom in the spring.
These 25 white flowering trees can be wonderful additions to your yard, landscape design, or garden this year. As long as you work with your growing zone, you can get a riot of gorgeous white flowers in the springtime until the middle of summer.
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.