Small Flowering Trees with Name and Picture for Easy Identification (Pink, White, Red, Purple Flowers)

Small Flowering Trees

Small flowering trees are ideal for adding color and fragrance to garden landscapes where there’s limited space. Dwarf ornamental trees fill gardens with pink, red, purple, and white colors in spring and summer. Many types of trees for small gardens also provide shade, lush foliage, vibrant, colorful flowers, and attract wildlife. If you pick small fruit trees, you will also have an abundance of fruit throughout the summer.

Of course, small flowering trees are not only for compact landscaping spaces. Dwarf ornamental trees are ideal as lawn trees or growing where tall, expansive trees would be impractical. For example, small deciduous trees, dwarf weeping trees, and miniature flowering trees can grow in most gardens.

Even if you have a patio or paved backyard, many small pink, white, and purple flowering trees grow well in containers.

This article is a guide to the best types of small flowering trees. Pictures and descriptions of flowering trees will help you identify the best ornamental trees for your front or backyard.

How to Identify Small Flowering Trees

Dwarf or small flowering trees are generally classified as trees that don’t grow taller than 25 ft. (7.6 m). Depending on the limited size of your yard, you may have to look for smaller cultivars or dwarf specimens. To identify small ornamental trees, it’s vital to look at the type of leaves, tree bark, flower type, and when the tree blooms.

Often, you can identify types of small flowering trees by their recognizable colors. For example, compact cherry blossom trees typically have pinkish-white spring flowers. Similarly, dwarf magnolia trees tend to have showy white flowers. However, eastern redbud trees usually only have pink flower clusters in spring.

You can also find flowering trees for small gardens that bloom in summer or winter. Purple crape myrtle trees and some small white magnolias produce flowers in summer. Witch hazel is a small shrub-like tree that grows yellow flowers throughout winter.

If you choose small flowering trees such as tree hydrangeas or tree roses, you can select ornamental trees in various beautiful colors.

Types of Small Flowering Trees with Name and Picture For Easy Identification

Let’s look in more detail at the best examples of small flowering trees for your front yard or backyard. In this list of ornamental trees, tree types are classified by the colors of their blooms.

Types of Small Flowering Trees with Pink Flowers (With Pictures)

Several species of miniature and small trees have various shades of pink blossoms. Some of the most beautiful small flowering trees with pink flowers are cherry trees, red buckeye, and eastern redbuds. These pink blooming small trees grow between 10 and 25. ft (3 – 7.6 m) high.

The height of the tree will also determine how close to your house you can plant the tree. As a rule of thumb, the distance of the tree from your home should be at least one-half of its height. So, if your tree will eventually be 20 ft. (6 m), plant it at least 10 ft. (3 m) away from the building.

Let’s look in more detail at some small trees with pink flowers.

Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

Aesculus pavia red buckeye 'Splendens'

Red Buckeye is a small ornamental tree for front or backyard with reddish-pink flowers

Red buckeye is a small pink flowering tree that grows between 12 and 15 ft. (3.6 – 4.5 m) tall with rounded canopy up to 15 ft. (4.5 m) wide. Beautiful clusters of reddish-pink flowers adorn the dark green lance-shaped leafy foliage in mid to late spring. Red buckeye is identified by brown fruit or seeds that look like a buck’s eye.

Red buckeye is a slow-growing, compact tree that is ideal for small landscapes. The deep, pink-colored flowers also give the tree common names such as the firecracker plant, scarlet buckeye, and woolly buckeye.

Red buckeye grows best in USDA zones 5 – 9. It thrives in full sun and is classed as a low-maintenance flowering tree. Grow red buckeye trees as specimen trees or plant in rows to create a beautiful flowering hedge.

Related reading: How to identify types of buckeye trees.

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Cercis canadensis

Eastern Redbud is a beautiful flowering tree that will enhance any garden landscape

The eastern redbud is a spectacular pink-flowering small tree. This ornamental tree has delicate rosy-pink flower clusters that bloom before bright green, heart-shaped leaves emerge in summer. Eastern redbud has dramatic, colorful displays with pink spring flowers and attractive green leaves that turn yellow. Eastern redbuds grow between 20 and 30 ft. (6 – 9 m) tall and up to 35 ft. (10 m) wide.

Small eastern redbud trees are known for their colorful dark magenta-pink flowers that cover bare branches. As a multi-stemmed tree, eastern redbuds can also grow as a large deciduous flowering shrub. To identify the eastern redbud, look for heart-shaped, broadly ovate leaves, rose-colored spring flowers, and chestnut brown winter buds.

Eastern redbud ornamental flowering trees thrive in USDA zones 4 – 9. Grow in full sun to part shade and make sure the well-draining ground is constantly moist.

Related reading: How to identify varieties of redbud trees.

Cherry blossom trees (Prunus)

Japanese Weeping Cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kiku-Shidare-Zakura’)

Japanese dwarf weeping cherry tree has showy ruffled pink flowers and doesn’t grow taller than 10 ft. (3 m),

Cherry blossom trees are some of the most stunning small trees that produce light pink flowers. Blooming in spring, pink cherry blossoms can be single flowers with five petals or showy double flowers with up to 300 petals. Dwarf ornamental cherry trees grow between 15 and 20 ft. (4.5 – 6 m) tall and wide.

Deciduous cherry blossom trees are identifiable by their spreading habit and vase-shaped, rounded crown. The pink flowers emerge in mid to late spring and grow in dangling clusters of pinkish-white flowers.

If you have a compact garden landscape, then flowering dwarf weeping cherry trees are ideal. Dwarf cherry blossom trees grow between 6 and 15 ft. (1.8 – 4.5 m) tall. The arching branches make the pink flowering trees look like cascading waterfall of pink shades.

Related reading: How to identify the many types of flowering cherry trees.

Types of Small Flowering Trees with White Flowers (With Pictures)

Many species of small flowering trees look magnificent when masses of white flowers cover branches in spring and summer. Some of the most common white flowering small trees are crabapple trees, hawthorns, and flowering dogwood trees. Many small trees with white flowers grow up to 20 ft. (6 m) tall and wide.

Here is a selection of some beautiful white flowering small trees.

Crabapple Trees (Malus)

Snowdrift Crabapple (Malus ‘Snowdrift’)

Snowdrift crabapple (Malus ‘Snowdrift’) has white fragrant flowers and grows between 15 and 20 ft. (4.5 – 6 m) tall

Crabapple trees have stunning white spring flowers with five or more oval petals, glossy green, leathery oval leaves, and small apples with a tart flavor. Crabapple trees can grow in most small gardens as they typically don’t grow taller than 15 ft. (4.5 m). However, the smallest crabapple trees don’t reach more than 5 ft. (1.5 m) tall.

Cold-hardy crabapples with their ornamental white flowers thrive in USDA zones 3 – 8. The best location to grow easy-care crabapple trees is in full sun and moderately fertile, well-draining soil. Crabapples are known for their clusters of tiny, berry-like apples.

Although many crabapple varieties have white flowers, there are also small flowering crabapple trees with red, orange, light pink, and deep purple flowers.

Related reading: Crabapple Trees (Malus): Types, Flowers, Fruits (Pictures).

Tree Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’)

hydrangea tree

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ can be trained as a single trunk tree with stunning white flowers

Named the tree hydrangea, this deciduous small, multi-stemmed shrubby landscaping tree is renowned for its creamy-white conical flower clusters, dark green leaves, and large rounded crown. The ornamental tree hydrangea blooms throughout the summer and its masses of white flowers cause branches to bend in the weight.

This large hydrangea shrub can be also trained as a single trunk small tree and is also named ‘PeeGee’ or ‘Grandiflora.’ After blooming in the fall, the large white flowers drop. The tree’s foliage turns reddish-purple in the fall.

The hydrangea ‘Grandiflora’ tree grows up to 25 ft. (7.6 m) tall and thrives in USDA zones 3 – 8. The summer-flowering tree performs best in full sun and tolerates heat. Tree hydrangeas grow best as a specimen tree, flowering privacy screen, or in mixed shrub borders.

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus)

dogwood tree

Flowering dogwood trees add decorative touch to any garden with their white flowers

Fast-growing dogwood trees are early spring bloomers with white oval, four-petaled flowers. Green ovate, pointed leaves cover trees in summer before turning reddish-purple in the fall, and clusters of red berry-like drupes appear in the fall. Small deciduous dogwood trees grow between 15 and 25 ft. (4.5 – 7.6 m) tall.

Some species of small flowering dogwood trees have clusters of tiny white flowers growing in oval clusters.

Dogwood white flowering trees grow best in USDA zones 3 – 8. The trees thrive in full sun to part shade and need to grow in rich, well-draining ground.

Related reading: How to identify the most common dogwood trees.

Hawthorn (Crataegus)

Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum)

Washington Hawthorn tree (Crataegus phaenopyrum) is a small multi-stemmed tree with attractive white flowers

Small white flowering hawthorn trees have sweetly scented, creamy-white flowers creating stunning spring displays. Hawthorn leaves are lobed, glossy green blades that appear in spring and persist until fall. Small deciduous hawthorn trees grow between 15 and 20 ft. (4.5 – 6 m) tall and have a rounded crown.

As its name suggests, hawthorn trees have sharp spikes on the branches and trunk. Hawthorn trees have red edible tree berries that are used to make jellies and preserves. Other names for hawthorn trees include hawberry, quickthorn, and thornapple.

Ornamental hawthorn trees thrive in USDA zones 5 – 7. The attractive ornamental trees are popular as specimen trees. The thorny branches and shrubby growth mean that hawthorns are ideal as security hedgerows.

Related reading: How to identify species of hawthorn trees.

Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)

Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)

The small flowering Star Magnolia is a deciduous tree with white, star-shaped flowers

The star magnolia is a species of beautiful small trees with attractive star-shaped white fragrant flowers and leathery green leaves that run yellow in the fall. Hardy magnolia trees are early spring bloomers, and the brilliant white flowers appear on leafless branches. Star magnolia trees grow between 5 and 8 ft. (1.5 – 2.4 m) tall.

The common name, star magnolia, comes from the appearance of the tree’s white flowers. Oblong white petals fan out like rays creating flowers in the shape of a star.

Ornamental small star magnolia trees thrive in USDA zones 4 – 9. The hardy trees grow best in full sun and organically rich, well-draining soil. Most people grow star magnolias as specimen plants in garden landscapes. Depending on the climate, magnolias are deciduous or evergreen trees.

Related reading: How to identify magnolia trees and shrubs.

Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)

Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)

The small deciduous and hardy fringe tree has white scented flowers

The fringe tree is a low-maintenance, multi-stemmed small deciduous tree with fragrant white flowers and wiry white petals. Fringe trees bloom in late spring when the fuzzy-looking creamy-white flowers cover the tree’s green foliage. When the petals drop in late summer, they look like a snow blanket covering the ground. Fringe trees grow between 10 and 20 ft. (3 – 6 m) tall.

Fringe trees provide plenty of year-long interest. The lance-shaped green leaves on these small trees offer summer shade. Beautiful snow-white flowers adorn the tree in spring and summer. And the gray-brown furrowed bark provides winter interest.

Fringe trees grow best as a specimen tree or in mixed borders in USDA zones 3 – 9.

Flowering Japanese Lilac Tree (Syringa reticulata)

Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata)

Japanese lilac is a great front of house small tree with large clusters of white flowers

The Japanese lilac tree is a white-flowering shrub-like tree with enormous conical clusters of creamy-white flowers, dark green, ovate leaves, and a rounded crown. Early summer blooms on tree lilac plants are short-lived and last for two weeks. After flowering, tan seed pods persist on the tree until winter, and the copper-colored bark provides winter interest.

Syringa reticulata grows around 20 ft. (6 m) tall and wide as an attractive landscape tree.

Japanese tree lilac grows best in full sun or partial shade. To prevent disease, ensure there is plenty of air circulation and that the shrubby lilac tree grows in well-draining soil.

Types of Small Flowering Trees with Purple Flowers (With Pictures)

Small trees with purple flowers provide plenty of color in garden landscapes. Some types of ornamental dwarf trees have flowers in various lilac, lavender, purple, and mauve shades. Generally, small trees with purple flowers grow between 4 and 20 ft. (1.2 – 6 m).

Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana)

saucer magnolia

Saucer magnolia grows between 15 and 20 ft. (4.5 – 6 m) tall and has large flowers that come in shades of pink, purple and white

The saucer magnolia is one of the most popular deciduous small magnolia trees. The small saucer magnolia tree gets its common name from the huge, light purple-pink saucer-like tulip flowers. As an early bloomer, the purple magnolia flowers appear on bare branches in spring, creating a dramatic floral display.

In mid-spring, large leathery, dark green oval leaves create dense shade foliage on the saucer magnolia. The attractive rounded crown makes an eye-catching garden feature until fall when the leaves drop. In warmer climates, saucer magnolia trees are evergreen.

Saucer magnolias grow best in USDA zones 6 – 9. Plant the small landscaping trees in full sun and keep the ground moist for best results.

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

Catawba crape myrtle shrub (left) and close up picture of the pink flowers (right)

Catawba Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘Catawba’) is a stunning example of small tree that grows between 10 and 15 ft. (3 – 4.5 m) tall and has purple flowers

Dwarf crape myrtle trees are large deciduous shrubs that are trained to grow as specimen trees. Many species of small ornamental crape myrtle trees have clusters of bright purple flowers that bloom from spring until fall. The stunning purple flowers contrast with the green foliage made up of small, ovate green leaves that turn golden yellow in the fall.

Many crape myrtle shrubs grow as beautiful miniature ornamental trees. The showy clusters of purple, pink, red, and white flowers provide plenty of color in landscapes throughout the summer.

Small crape myrtle ornamental trees thrive in USDA zones 6 – 10. You can grow the small trees as patio plants in containers, specimen lawn trees, or foundation plantings. Kept as shrubs, crape myrtles also make beautiful informal hedges.

Related reading: How to identify cape myrtle trees and shrubs.

Chaste (Vitex) Trees

vitex tree

Vitex is a multi-stemmed bushy tree with flowering purple spikes that grows best in full sun

The botanical name of chaste trees is Vitex agnus-castus. The multi-stemmed chaste tree is an easy-care deciduous bushy tree with long-lasting flowers that grow in dramatic purple spikes up to 12” (30 cm) long. Its vase-shaped growth has masses of palmate leaves containing five to seven lance-shaped leaflets creating dense foliage.

As a fast-growing small landscaping plant, chaste trees are easy to grow in most landscapes. The vigorous flowering tree grows up to 15 ft. (4.5 m) tall and 12 ft. (3.6 m) wide. Chaste trees are best grown as specimen plants, patio trees, shrub borders, or foundation plantings.

Grow chaste trees in full sun and well-draining, loamy ground

Related reading: How to identify chaste trees.

Other Types of Small Flowering Trees (With Pictures)

Let’s look in more detail at other types of small flowering trees with unusual flowers and attractive growth.

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) 

Witch hazel species are cold tolerant small shrubby trees that provide cheerful yellow winter blooms

Witch hazel is a small winter-flowering tree or shrub with fascinating yellow flowers made up of spidery petals. Blooming time for witch hazel is between October and February, where the yellow flowers decorate woody, leafless stems. During summer, attractive oval green leaves cover the tree before turning yellow and dropping.

Decorative witch hazel trees mature at around 20 ft. (6 m), and they can be up to 20 ft. (6 m) wide. As a cold-hardy small tree, witch hazels thrive in USDA zones 3 – 9.

Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum x watereri)

Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum x watereri)

Golden Chain Tree grows 12 – 15 ft. (3.6 – 4.5 m) tall and has long clusters of yellow flowers

The golden chain tree is an eye-catching small tree that has drooping clusters of small pea-like yellow flowers. In late spring, when in full bloom, the golden chain tree looks as if yellow chains are cascading from the branches. The beautiful yellow flower clusters can grow up to 2 ft. (60 cm) long.

Golden chain tree thrives in USDA zones 6 – 8. The best way to grow these deciduous trees is as a specimen tree or over arbors or pergolas.

Red Powder Puff Tree (Calliandra haematocephala)

Red Powder Puff Tree (Calliandra haematocephala)

The small red powder puff tree has unusual-looking fuzzy flowers that come in shades of red, pink, or white

Red powder puff trees are large, heat-loving shrubs that are trained to grow on a single trunk. The small flowering red powder puff trees have a spreading vase shape and are covered in soft fuzzy bright red, pink, or white flowers. The unusual tree flowers look like fan-shaped brushes dipped in colorful paint.

Powder puff trees grow quickly and mature between 10 and 15 ft. (3 – 4.5 m) tall. However, the trees only grow in the ground in USDA zones 9 – 11.

The best way to grow powderpuff trees in your sunny garden is as a corner-of-house accent, lawn tree, along driveways, or as a patio shade tree.

Rose Tree (Rosa)

tree rose

Tree roses give stunning look to any garden landscape with their eye-catching beautiful flowers

Tree roses are rose shrubs grafted onto a rootstock to create a beautiful, flowering small tree. The long-blooming flowers on tree roses cover a globular growth of dense foliage and thorny branches. One of the advantages of planting tree roses is that you can choose from a multitude of colorful blooms.

In warmer climates, tree roses grow in full sun and thrive in warm weather. It’s best to grow tree roses in large pots in cooler climates where you can over-winter them in a warmer place.

Plumeria Tree (Frangipani)

Plumeria tree

Plumeria tree

Plumeria is a group of small flowering trees or shrubs and is famous for highly scented, exotic, showy flowers. Plumeria flowers are shaped like a star and come in shades of white, yellow, pink, red, and multi-colors.

Plumeria trees are also called frangipani. The tropical trees are classed as deciduous or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs. However, there are a few evergreen plumeria tree species like the Plumeria obtusa and Plumeria pudica. The spectacular flowering trees thrive in USDA zones 9 through 12. These flowering trees commonly grow in Florida, the Caribbean, the Pacific islands, Mexico, and Central America.

Frangipani trees are moderate to fast-growing plants that can grow up to 20 ft. (6 m) tall. However, in most tropical and subtropical garden landscapes, the exotic trees reach between 6 and 8 ft. (1.8 – 2.4 m) tall.

The only care plumeria trees require is plenty of sunlight, well-drained soil, water, and fertilizer.

Further reading: Plumeria Tree: Growing and Care Guide.

Purple Leaf Plum Tree (Prunus cerasifera)

Purple Leaf Plum

Purple Leaf Plum

The purple leaf plum tree (Prunus cerasifera) is a small ornamental flowering tree with fragrant whitish-pink spring flowers and dark burgundy or purple leaves. Each attractive, fragrant flower has five petals growing in a radial form measuring 1” (2.5 cm) across.

The small flowering purple leaf plum tree grows between 15 and 25 ft. (4.5 – 8 m) tall. The deciduous tree has dense foliage and a vase-shaped crown.

Also called the cherry plum tree, the purple leaf plum is an easy-to-grow ornamental tree that grows best in moist but well-drained soil that is moderately fertile. The attractive dark foliage tree performs well in full sun and can tolerate some shade. However, too much shade causes the leaves to turn green.

The purple leaf plum tree also produces small plum-like yellow or red edible fruit.

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