best flowering trees for Florida

african tulip tree

What is an African Tulip Tree?

The blossoms of the African tulip tree are visually stunning, but individuals should be warned that it has the potential to be very invasive. Typically used as a specimen tree, it will grow an average of 30 to 40 ft. in height. It can also be grown in containers, which will limit its growth and aids in preventing the spread of seeds.

The yellow to orange-red blossoms attract bees, birds and butterflies, but not other types of wildlife. It’s pollinated via birds and bats. The tree is drought tolerant but has little tolerance for salt. It’s the only species of its genus and native to central and western Africa. It’s a cousin to the trumpet vine.

The African tulip tree can be highly invasive and the woody fruit has a poisonous center. The World Conservation Union (IUCU) placed it on the list of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. Under optimal conditions, it can grow to 80 ft. in height, with an average growth rate of 6 ft. per year.

The tree produces an abundance of papery seeds that are easily disseminated by the wind and the seeds have the ability to ride the wind for miles. The seeds can take root virtually anywhere and the young saplings are shade tolerant. Saplings can quickly form dense thickets that stifle the growth of other species and take over an area.

In poor soil, it tends to grow straight up, has minimal branching, and is weakly rooted. The wood is soft and brittle, making it prone to damage and uprooting in the event of high winds or if flooding occurs. It also needs yearly trimming of dead branches.

The dropped blossoms can be a messy and sticky slip hazard. Surface roots have the ability to lift and break sidewalks, interfere with mowing, and can pose a hazard to foundations if planted too close to structures.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Small Flowering Trees South Florida Edition

Small trees are an often overlooked option in the landscape of homes and businesses. They’re an ideal solution for smaller properties and their vibrant and unusual flowers provide visual interest. Many are salt-tolerant and can be used to create a screen, while others provide shade and remain compact enough to preserve a specific view. Some of the best flowering trees for Florida encompass the following, in no particular order.

Plumeria

The plant’s scientific name is Plumeria, but it’s also known as Frangipani. Its ugly duckling appearance in the winter is misleading. Blooms of red, white, yellow, pink and multi-colors transform it into a tropical showcase as it flowers profusely from spring to autumn. The blossoms are fragrant, used to make leis in Hawaii, and in lotions, candles and perfumes. It can grow up to 20 ft., is drought and salt tolerant, and is both a succulent and deciduous.

Japonica

There are several different types of the japonica species. The most petite is the Desert Cassia. It grows fairly quickly to a height of 10 ft., flowers in the spring and autumn, is salt tolerant, and attracts butterflies. The tree is also known as “scrambled egg tree” and “golden shower tree” due to its prolific yellow blossoms. Its cousin, Cassia surattensis, grows from 12-15 ft. in height and tolerates salt.

Jatropha

The compact/dwarf version will amaze with blooms every day of the year. It has small red flowers, can be grown as a bush, or trained as a single-trunk tree. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. It’s one of the smallest of the species, but quickly grows to about eight ft., and is drought tolerant.

Red Cluster Bottlebrush

This is a showy specimen featuring bright red flowers. Homeowners can cultivate it as a single or multi-trunk tree or a bush. Excellent for small yards and as an accent plant, the flower spikes resemble a bottlebrush and appear periodically throughout the year. It’s highly attractive to honey bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. A weeping version is also available and both are moderately tolerant to salt and can grow up to 25 ft. high.

Pick a Favorite

No matter what size yard or the preferred blossom color, there’s a small tree to accommodate any need in Florida. The temperate climate and mild winters allow dozens of small flowering trees to thrive, providing interest, beauty, and nectar for wildlife.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more