15 Great Flowering Trees For Iowa Gardens

Are you searching for the best flowering trees to plant in Iowa to boost the curbside appeal of your home? Well, you’re in luck! The Hawkeye State has the right landscape and climate to grow numerous blossoming trees quite easily. Read on to discover 15 exquisite flowering trees in Iowa

Iowa enjoys a versatile landscape with seven major landforms – Northwest Iowa Plains, Des Moines Lobe, Loess Hills, Paleozoic Plateau, Iowa Surface, Southern Iowa Drift Plain, and Missouri Alluvial Plain. It’s the only US state bounded by two navigable rivers – the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River to the west. The Hawkeye State comprises of gently rolling hills and flat plains, with an increasing elevation from east-southeast to west-northwest. 

The state of Iowa has a four-season, humid continental climate, which reflects its position deep in the interior of the continent. Summers in Iowa are long, hot, humid, and typically the rainiest season of the year. Meanwhile, winters in the state are cold, dry, and windy, with severely cold temperatures in the southeast. 

Iowa is also blessed with a wide variety of trees. Hickory Trees and Oak Trees typically dominate Iowa’s dried upper woodlands that are also peppered with Basswood, White Ash, and Walnut Trees. Understory Trees, such as Ironwood, Sugar Maple, and saplings of larger canopy trees, are typically grown in upland communities.  

The state also grows numerous breathtaking flowering trees, such as the ever-popular US native Eastern Redbud, the stunning Japanese Cherry Blossom, and the European hybrid Red Horse Chestnut Tree. You can grow these and various other trees in your Iowa garden and enjoy the breathtaking flowers that blossom on their branches during the blooming season. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best flowering trees in Iowa! 

1. Flowering Crabapple

  • Malus sutyzam sugar tyme
  • Flowering in: Mid Spring to Late Spring
  • Height: 20-40 ft
A Flowering Crabapple Tree
Apple Cat A Flowering Crabapple Tree

Flowering Crabapple Trees yield gorgeous, pale pink, scented blossoms. These Asian, North American, and European deciduous natives feature slender, ovate, indented, and dark green leaves. They are medium-sized trees with an oval and upright crown. Flowering Crabapple is a drought-tolerant tree that thrives in medium-moist, well-drained, acidic loams and sunny areas. 

2. Cornelian Cherry

  • Cornus mas
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 15-25 ft
Cornus mas Cornelian cherry
Plant Image Library Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry)

Cornelian Cherry Trees yield minute, yellow blossoms that bloom on its stouts stalks. These small-sized central and southern European and western Asian natives feature deciduous, ovate to elliptic, dense, dark green leaves and blossoms that are bounded by petal-like, yellowish bracts. Cornelian Cherry Trees grow well in sunny or speckled spots and moist, well-drained, organically rich soils.

3. Eastern Redbud

  • Cercis canadensis
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 30 ft
Redbud Tree cercis canadensis
Dcrjsr Redbud Tree (cercis canadensis)

Eastern Redbuds are popular grown throughout the US and are also native to the country and its neighbor Mexico. They are multi-trunked, medium-sized ornamental trees that yield striking clusters of tiny magenta shoots that bloom into long-lasting, rosy-pink flowers. Redbuds have a rounded crown, horizontally growing branches, and heart-shaped, dark green, deciduous leaves that turn canary yellow in fall. They are low-maintenance trees that thrive in various sun and soil conditions. 

4. Serviceberry 

  • Amelanchier arborea
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 10-25 ft
Downy Serviceberry
Dan Mullen Downy Serviceberry

Also known as Downy Serviceberry, Serviceberry Trees are native to the northeastern United States. They produce copious drooping clusters of 5-petaled, white, slightly scented blossoms. These small-sized, deciduous trees feature oval green leaves that turn orange, red, and yellow in fall. Their flowers give way to small, dark purple or black-hued, round berries. This tree grows well in acidic, moist, well-drained soils and sunny spots. 

5. Saucer Magnolia

  • Magnolia x soulangiana
  • Flowering in: Early Spring
  • Height: 30 ft
Saucer Magnolia.
Puddin Tain Saucer Magnolia.

Saucer Magnolia Trees yield dark-purple buds that bloom into large, goblet-shaped, aromatic, pink flowers. These stunning, medium-sized trees were originally bred in France. They feature leathery, dark green, smooth leaves that turn golden-bronze in fall. These versatile trees tend to thrive in evenly moist, well-drained soils and under full sun.  

6. Flowering Plum

  • Prunus triloba
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 10-20 ft
Prunus triloba blooms
Dalgial Prunus triloba blooms

Flowering Plum yields abundant, 5-petaled, pink flowers. This Chinese natives are multi-stemmed, rounded shrubs or understory trees. This tree features three-lobed, coarse, double-toothed, broad-ovate, medium-green, dense leaves that develop a yellow hue in autumn. Its flowers give way to globose, red fruits. Flowering Plum Trees grow well in well-drained, fertile, moist loams and sunny or speckled areas. 

7. Flowering Cherry

  • Prunus serrulata
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 20-30 ft  
jumpstory download20210202 142320
JumpStory Cherry Tree in blossom.

Also known as Sakura and Cherry Blossom, Flowering Cherry Trees are Japanese, Chinese, and Korean natives. They yield abundant clusters of non-fragrant, stunning, powdery white and pink flowers that bloom in single, semi-double, and double forms. These medium-sized trees have upright branches that create an attractive, umbrella-like crown. Cherry Blossom Trees thrive in well-drained, moist, fertile soils and sunny areas. 

8. Star Magnolia

  • Magnolia kobus var. stellata
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 20 ft
Star Magnolia.
Katja Schulz Star Magnolia (magnolia stellata)

Star Magnolia Trees yield beautiful, large, fragrant, star-shaped, white flowers that bloom on their naked branches. These flowers have 25 to 30 unique, elongated, ribbon-shaped petals and pale yellow centers. Star Magnolias are Japanese natives with oblong, glossy leaves. They are highly ornamental ad pest-resistant trees that grow well in sunny or partially speckled spots and well-drained soils. 

9. Pagoda Dogwood

  • Cornus alternifolia
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 30 ft
Cornus alternifolia argentea
peganum Cornus alternifolia argentea

Pagoda Dogwood Trees are eastern North American natives that yield white or pale yellow blossoms. The blooms give way to bluish fruits. These gorgeous, medium-sized accent trees have red-purple fall color and horizontally winding branches. Pagoda Dogwood thrives in speckled or sheltered spots but can also grow under full sun. It tends to grow best in moist soils. 

10. Red Horse Chestnut

  • Aesculus x carnea
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 35 ft
Aesculus x carnea or Red horse chestnut flower 1
Yay Aesculus x carnea or Red horse chestnut flower

Red Horse Chestnut Trees are hybrid flowering trees that were discovered in Europe. These medium-sized trees have a rounded or oval habitat that yields abundant upright, terminal clusters of pretty red and pink blossoms. They have palmate, doubly-toothed, oblong-obovate, compound, dark green foliage. Red Horse Chestnut Trees grow well in sunny or partially shaded spots and well-drained, medium-moist, fertile soils. 

11. Carolina Silverbell

  • Halesia carolina
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 30 to 40 ft
Halesia carolina.
Meneerke Bloem Halesia carolina.

Carolina Silverbell Trees yield clusters of two to five drooping, bell-shaped white blossoms. These medium-sized southeastern US natives are low-maintenance, understory trees with a wide-spreading, rounded crown. They feature dark yellowish-green, ovate, finely toothed leaves. Carolina Silverbell Trees thrive in rich, acidic, well-drained, moist soils and sunny or partially shaded spots.

12. Japanese Tree Lilac

  • Syringa reticulata ivory silk
  • Flowering in: Early Summer
  • Height: 15-25 ft 
28562804 view of japanese tree lilac or syringa reticulata full of flowers in the springtime popular zaimov park district oborishte
Yay Japanese tree lilac (syringa reticulata) full of flowers in the springtime.

Japanese Tree Lilac is a low-maintenance, award-winning tree that yields copious, massive, foot-long clusters of minute, scented, creamy-white blossoms that grown alongside contrasting dark green leaves. This is an award-winning, small-sized, multi-trunked, and hardy flowering tree. It tends to grow well in sunny areas and medium-moist, well-drained soils. 

13. Seven-Son Flower

  • Heptacodium miconiodes
  • Flowering in: Summer
  • Height: 10 ft
Heptacodium miconioides Seven Son Flower Tree
K M Seven-Son Flower Tree( Heptacodium miconioides )

Seven-Son Flower Trees produce seven-branched clusters of scented, creamy-white flowers. Each branch grows six blossoms that give way to striking, miniature, purplish-red fruits. Seven-Son Flower is a multi-stemmed, deciduous, Chinese native shrub with a fountain-shaped crown. It features shiny, slender, medium-green, oblong-ovate leaves. This tree thrives in well-drained, medium moist soils and full sun. 

14. Kentucky Coffeetree

  • Gymnocladus dioicus
  • Flowering in: Late Spring to Early Summer
  • Height: 60-75 ft
Kentucky Coffee Tree Gymnocladus dioicus.
Leonora (Ellie) Enking Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus).

Kentucky Coffeetree yields spike-shaped clusters of greenish-white blossoms. This tall, drought-tolerant tree has an upright crown, spreading branches, and compound, bluish-green leaves that turn yellow in fall. Kentucky Coffeetree is native to Northeastern and Central America. This flowering tree grows well in sunny areas and moist, well-drained, and deep clay and sandy soils. 

15. Royal Empress Tree

  • Paulownia tomentosa
  • Flowering in: Spring
  • Height: 40 ft
Paulownia tomentosa Empress Tree
treehelp.com Paulownia tomentosa – Empress Tree

Royal Empress Tree yields huge, upright clusters of pale violet, tubular, aromatic flowers. These medium-sized, rapidly-growing, invasive trees are Eastern Asian natives with brittle wood and incredibly large, heart-shaped, rich green foliage that offers exceptional shade. Even though Royal Empress Trees are drought-hardy, they thrive in moist, well-drained, deep soils and prefer to grow under full sun or partial shade.