27 Best Flowering trees For California by Color

Are you looking forward to planting breathtaking flowering trees in your Cali garden? You will be ecstatic to know that The Golden State has some of the best, most elegant, and attractive blossoming trees. Read on to find out 27 beautiful flowering trees to plant in California! 

California is an uber-gorgeous, coastal state widely loved for its spectacular beaches, national parks, and tourist attractions. It’s also famous for being the country’s largest wine-producing region. The state enjoys a Mediterranean-like climate with dry, warm summers and mild, slightly rainy winters. 

The Golden State has a versatile landscape that includes mountainous ranges, such as the Tehachapi Mountains in Southern California and the Sierra Nevada that run along the eastern border of the state. Cali also has popular valleys, such as the wine-growing Napa Valley and the agriculturally productive Central Valley. 

California is widely known as the home of the Redwood National and State Parks, the colossal complex of forests that protect a wide majority of the global population of trees. It’s no surprise that The Golden State is home to a wide range of trees, including the commonly found natives, such as California Sycamore, Fremont Cottonwood, California Black Walnut, Oregon Ash, and Gray Pine

The beautiful coastal state is also well-known for growing some truly captivating flowering trees, such as the ever-gorgeous Jacaranda with its attractive purple blooms, the multi-branched White Dogwood with its showy white flowers, and the Sweet Acacia, with its puff-shaped, golden-brown blossoms. All of these flowering trees produce stunning blossoms that will elevate the beauty of your garden. 

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at 27 striking flowering trees in California that you can grow in your yard!

Purple flowering trees in California

1. Jacaranda

  • jacaranda mimosifolia
  • Flowering in: Spring and Summer
  • Height: 60 ft
Colourful blooming jacaranda tree
Yay Colourful blooming jacaranda tree

Native to South America, Jacaranda is a subtropical tree with fern-like foliage, arched branches, and an upturned umbrella-like canopy. It produces abundant purple trumpet-shaped blooms that grow in arresting pyramid-shaped clusters at the end of its branches. It prefers to grow in sunny locations and slightly moist, well-drained soils. 

2. California Lilac

  • ceanothus ray hartman
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height:15 ft
Californian Lilac - Ceanothus
Dean Morley Californian Lilac – Ceanothus

California Lilac is a North American native. It’s an attractive, evergreen, upright shrub ideal for sunny, coastal gardens. It produces unique, fluffy clusters of dark cobalt, violet, azure, and indigo blooms.
It features dense, dark, glossy green, ovate leaves with serrated edges. This drought-tolerant tree thrives in full sun and dry soil. 

3. Western Redbud

  • cercis occidentalis
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 15-20 ft
Western Redbud Cercis occidentalis
Christer Johansson Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis)

Native to Arizona, California, and Utah, the Western Redbud is a small, deciduous tree with a compact habitat. It features heart-shaped, green leaves that turn red and gold in fall. It produces showy magenta or purplish-pink flowers that grow in noticeable clusters. The striking flowers give way to thin, dry, brown legume pods. This drought-tolerant tree grows well in full sun to part shade and well-drained soils. 

4. Lily Magnolia

  • magnolia liliiflora ‘nigra’
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 15 ft
Magnolia liliiflora Nigra
Moonik Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’

Native to China and Japan, Lily Magnolia is a large, deciduous flowering shrub with a rounded, compact habitat. It produces stunning clusters of profuse lily-shaped, reddish-purple, or pink blooms. It also bears cone-shaped, brown, or purple fruit. It features elliptic, dark green leaves. This tree thrives in full sun to part shade and moist, rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils. 

5. Desert Willow

  • chilopsis linearis
  • Flowering in: Summer
  • Height: 15-30 ft
desert willow chilopsis linearis tree
calpoly.edu Desert Willow (chilopsis linearis) tree

Desert Willow is a pretty, small to medium-sized ornamental tree with slender twigs, a twisted trunk, and deciduous light green leaves. It produces exotic, five-petaled, purple, or dark pink blooms with yellow or white streaks in their center. This rapidly growing and drought-tolerant tree prefers to grow in well-drained soils and full sun. 

6. Fragrant Lilac 

  • syringa vulgaris
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 12-15 ft
Fragrant lilac
Yay Fragrant lilac

Fragrant Lilac is a small-sized, multi-stemmed tree that produces lilac, light purple, or lavender flowers that grow in clusters. These fragrant, four-petaled blooms are surrounded by lush green shrubbery. This tree thrives in sunny locations, but it does not tolerate humid conditions. It grows well in moist, well-drained soils. 

7. Saucer Magnolia 

  • magnolia x soulangeana
  • Flowering in: Late Winter to Mid Summer
  • Height: 8 ft
Saucer Magnolia.
Puddin Tain Saucer Magnolia.

Saucer Magnolia is a beautiful and versatile ornamental shrub that you can grow as a standalone yard tree. It produces conspicuous dark purple flower buds that bloom into stunning, cup-shaped, fragrant, purple, or light pink flowers. These blossoms can grow up to be six to ten inches tall. This deer-resistant tree thrives in evenly moist soils and full sun.

8. Spirea/Japanese meadowsweet

  • spiraea japonica
  • Flowering in: Summer
  • Height: 6 ft
Spiraea japonica.
JumpStory Spiraea japonica.

Spirea or Japanese Meadowsweet is a rapidly-growing, invasive, deciduous shrub with a dense form. It produces showy, rosy-pink, carmine, or purple flowers that grow in dense umbel-like clusters. It features oval to lance-shaped, alternate, dark green leaves with coarsely toothed margins. This tree can tolerate a wide range of lighting and soil conditions, but it thrives in full sun and organically rich, well-drained soil.

9. Purple Orchid Tree

  • bauhinia variegata
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 35 ft
Bauhinia variegata
JumpStory Bauhinia variegata

Native to India and China, Purple Orchid is a small to medium-sized tree with a spreading, rounded habitat. It produces fragrant, orchid-like purple blooms. It features two-lobed light green foliage that turns orange and yellow in fall. This drought-tolerant tree grows well in moist, highly acidic loams or sandy soils and full sun to part shade. 

10. Crape Myrtle

  • lagerstroemia
  • Flowering in: Summer and Spring
  • Height: 35 ft
crape myrtle lagerstroemia flowers
Yay Crape Myrtle – lagerstroemia flowers

Native to Korea and China, Crape Myrtle is an attractive, medium-sized tree also known as the “lilac of the South.” It produces large clusters of long-lasting, stunning, purplish-pink blooms. It has lush, deciduous foliage and an attractive trunk. This drought-tolerant tree tends to thrive in well-drained, moist soils and full sun. 

White flowering trees in California

1. Evergreen Pear

  • pyrus kawakamii
  • Flowering in: Winter
  • Height: 20-30 ft
Evergreen pear tree
Martin LaBar Evergreen pear tree

Native to Korea and China, Crape Myrtle is an attractive, medium-sized tree also known as the “lilac of the South.” It produces large clusters of long-lasting, stunning, purplish-pink blooms. It has lush, deciduous foliage and an attractive trunk. This drought-tolerant tree tends to thrive in well-drained, moist soils and full sun. 

2. Chinese Fringe Tree

  • chionanthus retusus
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 25-30 ft
Chinese Fringe Tree
Puddin Tain Chinese Fringe Tree

Native to China, Korea, and Japan, the Chinese Fringe Tree is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with a rounded, wide-spreading habitat. It produces profuse, mildly fragrant, pure white flowers with fringe-like petals. The female flowers give way to clusters of olive-like, dark bluish-black fruits. It features lustrous, leathery, elliptic or ovate, bright green leaves. This tree thrives in full sun to part shade and slightly acidic, moist, fertile, well-drained soils. 

3. Pee Gee Hydrangea 

  • hydrangea paniculata grandiflora
  • Flowering in: Spring, Summer and Early Autumn
  • Height: 25 ft
Hydrangea paniculata Grandiflora
Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’

Native to China and Japan, Pee Gee Hydrangea is a vigorous, rapidly-growing, upright, deciduous shrub. It features oval to ovate, serrate, upright dark green leaves. It produces sharply-pointed, conical clusters of showy, creamy white flowers that turn pink as they age. This tree grows well in full sun to part shade and organically rich, adequately moist, well-drained soils.

4. White Dogwood 

  • cornus florida
  • Flowering in: Spring and Autumn
  • Height: 25 ft
Cornus florida.
H. Zell Cornus florida.

Native to eastern North America and northern Mexico, White Dogwood is a multi-branched, deciduous tree with a rounded habitat. It features green leaves that turn reddish-purple in fall. It produces tiny, showy white flowers that bloom from pink bracts. Dogwoods thrive in specked shade and organic, well-drained soils. 

5. Southern Magnolia 

  • magnolia grandiflora
  • Flowering in: Spring to early Summer
  • Height: 37 ft
Magnolia grandiflora.
KENPEI Magnolia grandiflora.

Southern Magnolia is a dense, medium-sized, evergreen tree with thick, robust stems. It produces large, stunning, fragrant, cup-shaped white flowers that grow at the tip of its branches. It features smooth, leathery, dark green leaves with rust-brown undersides. Southern Magnolias grow well in well-drained, organically rich soils and full sun to part shade. 

6. California Buckeye

  • aesculus californica
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 39 ft
California Buckeye
Dana L. Brown California Buckeye (Aesculus californica)

Native to the foothills and valleys of the coastal ranges in the western US, California Buckeye is a large, deciduous shrub or a medium-sized tree with an open, flat-topped crown. It features lustrous, alternate, palmate, shiny dark green leaves. It produces abundant, fragrant, creamy white to pink blooms. This tree thrives in full sun to part shade and adequately moist, well-drained soils. 

7. Yoshino Cherry

  • prunus x yedoensis
  • Flowering in: Spring 
  • Height: 25 to 50 ft
Yoshino Cherry
Bernard Spragg. NZ Yoshino Cherry

Yoshino Cherry is a graceful flowering tree with a broad-rounded, wide-spreading, open crown.  It produces clusters of fragrant white or pinkish-white blooms. It features oval or elliptic, serrate, dark green leaves that turn yellow and bronze in fall. It bears small, bitter, black cherries. Yoshino Cherry grows well in full sun to part shade and most types of adequately moist, well-drained soils. 

8. Crabapple

  • malus sylvestris
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 40 ft
Malus sylvestris
Hans Hillewaert Malus sylvestris

Native to North America and Asia, Crabapple is a medium-sized, deciduous tree with an upright, vase-shaped crown. It produces showy white or pink blooms that give way to fleshy, tart, yellow, red, or green apples. This versatile tree grows in a wide variety of well-drained, moist soils. It thrives in part shade or full sun. 

9. Callery Pear

  • pyrus calleryana
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 40 ft
Callery Pear Pyrus calleryana
Frank Richards Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)

Native to China and Taiwan, Callery Pear is an upright, branched tree with a pyramidal to spreading, oval crown. It features glossy green, profuse, narrow-oval foliage that turns reddish-purple to bronze-red in fall. It also bears small, inedible, greenish-yellow fruits. Callery Pear produces dense clusters of creamy white blooms. This tree grows well in full sun and humusy, well-drained loams. 

Yellow flowering trees in California

1. Golden Rain Tree

  • koelreuteria paniculata
  • Flowering in: Summer
  • Height: 30-40 ft
Koelreuteria paniculata
H.Zell Koelreuteria paniculata

Golden Rain Tree is an attractive, medium-sized, deciduous tree with a rounded crown and open branches. It produces long clusters of arresting rich yellow flowers. It features feathery, pinnate, pinkish-purple leaves that mature into bright apple-green foliage, which turns golden-yellow in fall. This tree thrives in full sun and dry to medium, well-drained soils. 

2. Palo Verde

  • cercidium ’desert museum
  • Flowering in: Summer
  • Height: 40 ft
Palo Verde in Bloom.
Kimberly Kling Palo Verde in Bloom.

Grown in the desert areas of southern California, Palo Verde is a medium-sized, deciduous tree with a conspicuously smooth, green bark and intricate branches. It features tiny, compound leaves and clusters of bright yellow blooms that give way to beanlike pods. This drought-tolerant tree grows well in full sun and well-drained, slightly sandy soils. 

3. Cassia Trees

  • cassia fistula
  • Flowering in: Late Spring to Summer
  • Height: 10 feet
Cassia fistula..
Mauricio Mercadante Cassia fistula

Native to India, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia, Cassia Tree is a small, upright, semi-deciduous tree. It produces outstanding pendulous clusters of slightly fragrant, bright yellow flowers that cover the entire crown of the tree. It features compound pinnate leaves with lance-tipped, ovate leaflets. This somewhat drought-tolerant tree thrives in adequately moist, well-drained soils and full sun. 

4. Sweet Acacia

  • vachellia farnesiana
  • Flowering in: Late Winter and Early Spring
  • Height: 25 ft
Sweet Acacia
Tonithedocent Sweet Acacia

Sweet Acacia is an elegant, medium-sized tree with a wide canopy. You can also grow it as a multi-branched shrub. It produces sweetly fragrant, puffball-shaped, golden-yellow flowers. It features bipinnately divided, soft, dark green foliage. This drought-tolerant tree grows well in full sun and well-drained soils. 

5. Tipu Tree

  • tipuana tipu
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 20-50 ft
Tipuana tipu
Daniel Ventura Tipuana tipu

Native to Bolivia, Tipu Tree is a fast-growing, medium-sized, semi-evergreen, tropical tree with a high spreading canopy and a single trunk. It produces pea-shaped yellow or apricot-colored flowers that give way to large, brown seed pods. It features pinnately compound, oval, green leaves. This drought-resistant thrives in full sun or part shade and acidic, clay, loam, or sandy soils. 

6. Sweet Shade

  • hymenosporum flavum
  • Flowering in: Spring to Early Summer
  • Height: 20-35 ft
Hymenosporum flavum.
K M Hymenosporum flavum.

Native to Australia, Sweet Shade is a medium-sized, week-branched, evergreen tree with an upright, irregular habitat that fills out with age. It features medium-green, glossy, oval leaves. It produces intensely fragrant, yellow flowers that grow in clusters and attract bees and birds. This tree prefers to grow in well-drained, sandy soils and full sun. 

7. Water Gum

  • tristaniopsis laurina
  • Flowering in: Late Spring to Early Summer
  • Height: 15-30 ft
tristaniopsis laurina
Tatiana Gerus Tristaniopsis laurina

Native to Australia, Water Gum is a low-maintenance, medium-sized tree or large shrub with a distinctly smooth, light grey bark and a compact habitat. It produces clusters of small, fragrant, yellow flowers. It features lush, deep green leaves. This tree thrives in full sun or part shade and various types of well-drained, moist soils. 

8. Blue Elderberry

  • sambucus nigra
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 10-15 ft 
Blue Elderberry
Walter Siegmund Blue Elderberry

Native to mountainous regions in western North America, Blue elderberry is a large, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with a rounded crown. It produces tiny, yellowish-white flowers that grow in large, flattened clusters. The blooms give way to clusters of edible, dark blue elderberries. It features compound, pinnate, medium-green leaves. This tree grows well in full sun to part shade and wet, well-drained soils.