Looking for a tree with white flowers? There are many beautiful white-flowering trees for the home landscape offering spring, summer, or even autumn blooms. White flowers brighten up the garden, day and night, with some trees producing small, delicate flower clusters and others huge, show-stopping blooms. Many flowering trees also add fragrance to the garden and attract bees and other pollinators. Below you’ll discover 21 terrific white-flowering trees in a range of sizes and forms to help you find the perfect specimen for your garden.
Why plant a tree with white flowers
There are many advantages to using white in the garden. Here are three reasons to plant a tree with white flowers:
- First, white is a calming color that invokes serenity and peacefulness.
- White is also a color that goes with everything, so pair a tree with white blooms with other pale flowering plants, as well as those with bright and bold colors. You’ll find that white makes nearby colors POP!
- White flowers light up the night. Use white flowering trees to create a moonlight garden to glow when the sun sets.
Ready to plant a tree with white flowers? Here are 21 beautiful choices:
Suggestions for a tree with white flowers in spring:
Amelanchier spp, zones 4 to 8. Serviceberry species are small trees that are native to North America. They’re among the earliest trees to bloom in spring with the branches covered in clouds of the small white flowers. It’s not a long-lasting show, but it is spectacular and the flowers are eventually replaced by berry-like fruits that are beloved by birds like waxwings, robins, and blue jays. Serviceberry trees also serve as a larval host plant for butterflies like viceroys. This hardy tree grows best in partial shade to full sun and makes a lovely addition to a woodland garden.
Magnolia stellata, zones 4 to 8. The star magnolia lights up the spring garden with a heavy show of fragrant white blooms which resemble a starburst. The flowers are three to five inches across with multiple strap-like petals. Star magnolia matures to about 20 feet tall and has a pleasing rounded shape, and makes a standout specimen tree. When in full bloom, this spring beauty offers a snowstorm of blossoms! Magnolias grow best in full sun to part shade and fertile, well-draining soil.
Magnolia grandiflora, zones 7 to 9. This is a stunning tree for warmer climates and is native to southeastern North America. Southern magnolia can grow up to 80 feet tall and has glossy, evergreen foliage that is almost as attractive as the creamy white flowers. Those blooms are massive, up to eight inches across, and are fragrant, persisting for several weeks in late spring. After they fade the flowers are replaced by long, cone-shaped red seedheads that offer summer and autumn appeal to the garden.
American fringe tree
Chionanthus virginicus, zones 4 to 9. Fringe tree is a stunning example of a tree with white flowers. It’s native to eastern North America and thrives in many parts of the US and Canada. Fringe tree grows 12 to 20 feet tall with a rounded shape and often multiple trunks. The pretty white flowers emerge in late spring and have a delicate, fleecy appearance and are lightly fragrant. Plant this hardy tree in a site with full to part sun, and well-draining soil.
Chinese fringe tree
Chionanthus retusus, zones 6 to 8. Like the American fringe tree, the Chinese species is a small deciduous tree that flowers in the spring. A Chinese fringe tree in full bloom is a dazzling sight with branches covered in a haze of bright white flower clusters. It can grow up to forty feet tall, but heights of fifteen to twenty feet are more common. The mature tree has a rounded shape and it makes a stunning accent plant in the home landscape.
Cladrastis kentukea, zones 4 to 8. American yellowwood should be on everyone’s list of top trees with white flowers. Native to North America, this medium-sized tree provides year-round interest to the landscape. In late spring or early summer, depending on your location, 15 inch long chains of creamy white flowers provide fragrance and attract pollinators. The show continues into autumn when the medium green leaves change to bright gold. For the best show of flowers, plant American yellowwood in full sun with fertile, well-draining soil. It can also be grown in part shade but there will be fewer flowers.
Halesia carolina, zones 4 to 8. This white flowering tree is a standout in the early season landscape. The pretty bell-shaped flowers appear in mid-spring and are produced in clusters of two to five blooms. Gardeners love the flowers, but so do the bees. Carolina Silverbell is considered a small to medium-sized tree and is native to the Southeastern United States. It doesn’t need special growing conditions, but does thrive in a spot with sun to part shade and fertile soil.
Prunus x yedoensis, zones 5 to 8. The blossoms of Yoshino cherry, which is a Japanese flowering cherry, are adored around the world! During peak spring bloom, the trees are smothered in clouds of the small, whitish-pink blossoms that appear on the bare branches. The flowers boast a soft almond scent and are attractive to bees and other pollinators. The flowers are followed by small, black fruits which are bitter in flavor but enjoyed by birds. Even when not in bloom, Yoshino cherry trees are spectacular. They have a unique vase-shape and can grow up to 40 feet tall and wide.
Aesculus glabra, zones 3 to 7. This is a medium-sized tree with white flowers and offers layers of appeal from spring through autumn. First, there is the foliage which forms attractive fans of bright green leaves. A few weeks later, in mid to late spring, the upright flower spikes emerge and are held up above the palm-shaped foliage. With the arrival of autumn the leaves turn an eye-catching coppery-bronze and the plant is loaded with attractive rounded fruits that contain a nut-like seed. The average height of Ohio Buckeye is around 25 feet, but in ideal conditions it can grow up to 35 feet tall and has a tidy, rounded form.
White Eastern Redbud
Cercis canadensis, zones 4 to 9. There are several cultivars of white-flowering redbud including ‘Royal White’ and ‘Alba’ which both bloom in spring. Eastern Redbud is a small, often multi-trunked tree with a rounded canopy and flowers that are produced in profusion on the bare branches. Both ‘Royal White’ and ‘Alba’ produce pure white flowers and if you don’t have a lot of space, you may prefer ‘Royal White’ which is more compact in size than ‘Alba’.
Hawthorn ‘Winter King’
Crataegus viridis, zones 3 to 9. ‘Winter King’ is small to medium-sized tree and makes a great specimen plant. It has a pleasing rounded shape with bright green leaves, silver-grey bark, and masses of small white flowers that emerge in spring. By September, the plant is covered in red berries which persist into winter and attract birds like waxwings and robins. ‘Winter King’ is disease-resistant and unlike many hawthorns, nearly thornless.
Styrax japonicus, zones 5 to 8. This is a terrific small tree that grows about 20 feet tall and has an attractive horizontal branching habit. Japanese snowbell flowers in spring producing dense clusters of small, bell-shaped blooms. It’s important to find the right site for this tree with white flowers. Ideally, it wants full sun and soil that is fertile, moist, and on the acidic side. Help newly planted Japanese snowbell trees establish well by watering deeply and regularly the first year.
Magnolia virginana, zones 5 to 9. This is a late blooming tree with white flowers and deep green leaves. Sweetbay magnolia is native to the eastern United States and typically grows 10 to 15 feet tall, although it can reach heights of up to 20 feet. It’s a good choice for a site with moist soil, as it doesn’t like to dry out. The white, lemon-scented flowers bloom in late spring, but the leaves also provide a long-season of interest with their glossy tops and silvery undersides.
Crab Apple ‘Spring Snow’
Malus ‘Spring Snow’, zones 3 to 7. Crabapples are among the most beloved spring-flowering trees and ‘Spring Snow’ is a standout with a heavy display of pure white, fragrant blossoms. It’s a bee magnet! It’s also a fruitless crabapple which means no messy fruits to clean up in autumn. ‘Spring Snow’ is a disease resistant choice for the garden and can grow up to 25 feet tall. Plant it in full sun in a site with fertile, well-draining soil.
Suggestions for a tree with white flowers in summer and autumn:
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’, zones 3 to 8. This tree with white flowers is incredibly popular for its compact size, hardiness, reliability, and huge cone-shaped blooms. When the tree begins to flower in mid-summer the blossoms are creamy white, but by autumn they develop a pretty tinge of rose-pink. ’Hydrangea ‘Grandiflora’, also called peegee or panicle hydrangea, can grow up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet across. It prefers sun to partial shade and is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions.
Ivory silk lilac
Syringa reticulata, zones 3 to 7. Ivory silk lilac is a hardy tree that begins to flower when the early bloomers have wrapped up for the season, which is typically in late June. The fluffy flower panicles are large, up to a foot long, and creamy white in color. They’re also fragrant and attractive to bees and other pollinators. Ivory Silk lilac can grow up to 20 feet tall at maturity.
Cornus kousa, zones 5 to 8. Kousa dogwood is a stunning small tree with white flowers and provides year-round appeal to the garden. It grows 15 to 25 feet tall and develops a horizontal branch structure as the tree matures. Kousa dogwood trees bloom for six weeks from late spring through early summer and once the blooms fade they’re replaced with showy, berry-like fruits that persist into autumn. The foliage offers another layer of interest in fall when it turns a rich reddish-purple hue. Kousa dogwood is also a great tree to enjoy in winter because the beautiful branch structure is visible and the exfoliating cinnamon-colored bark stands out against the snow. ‘Wolf Eyes’ is a popular cultivar with striking variegated foliage and large creamy white flowers.
Stewartia pseudocamellia, Zones 5 to 8. As the latin name suggests, this tree with white flowers has camellia-like blossoms with creamy petals and bright orange centers. Japanese stewartia isn’t an early bloomer, but rather flowers in mid-summer. Once the charming flowers fade, they’re replaced with brown pointed seed pods. This is a great tree with multiple seasons of interest. From the deep green leaves to the stunning flowers to the striking exfoliating bark, there’s always something interesting to admire. Upon maturity, Japanese stewartia can grow 30 to 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
Crepe Myrtle ‘Natchez’
Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Natchez’, zones 6 to 9. ‘Natchez’ is a compact tree with white flowers, but it’s not just about the blooms! It also has very attractive bark and glossy green leaves. One of the biggest selling points of crepe myrtle trees is that they flower for months and the bloom period of ‘Natchez’ begins in mid summer and stretches into autumn. It has soft-textured bright white blossoms and those dense flower clusters attract bees and butterflies. Plant ‘Natchez’ in a garden bed with full sun and well-draining soil. It can grow 30 feet tall, but a height of 20 feet is more common.
Oxydendrum arboreum, zones 5 to 9. Also called lily of the valley tree, sourwood is a tree with white flowers that are produced in graceful panicles in early to mid-summer. The tiny flowers attract bees and pollinators from near and far. Sourwood grows best in full sun to part shade and is disease and pest-resistant. It has an upright, narrow habit and matures to about 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Garden interest continues into autumn when the leaves turn a rich reddish-purple.
Cornus florida, zones 5 to 9. This is a spectacular small tree, native to North America, that is beloved for its profuse show of spring blooms. The ‘flowers’ are comprised of four large white bracts which surround the small green-gold true flower clusters. Flowering dogwood grows 15 to 25 feet tall and has a wide, pyramidal form. It’s adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions including full sun to part shade. It’s a good idea to mulch a newly planted tree with several inches of bark mulch to help the soil retain moisture.
For further reading on trees, please check out these articles:
- Weeping Trees: 14 types to grow
- Weeping Alaskan Cedar: An elegant, easy-to-grow evergreen
- 21 flowering trees for home gardens
- The best trees for privacy
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