When choosing flowering trees for the landscape, we often tend to make our selections from the long list of ostentatious spring blooming trees that are all so common and familiar in every yard. At the same time, we tend to overlook the more reserved, yet exceptionally elegant, summer blooming trees that can add so much drama and beauty to every space. Check out this selection and consider one or two to round out the seasons when considering your next landscape addition.

  • Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
    Delicate crepe paper like flowers flourish in mid- to late summer in an assortment of colors like pink, fuchsia, coral, lavender, violet and red.
  • Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
    This small, multi-stemmed, native tree features fragrant, showy, fringe-like white flowers in early summer just as many spring bloomers are fading.
  • Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
    This medium tree is a showstopper with small, yellow flowers borne in large, upright panicles in July, just in time for summer parties.
  • Japanese Pagoda Tree (Sophora japonica)
    A medium-large tree with creamy-white, slightly fragrant flowers borne in hanging drapes 6-12” long, this beauty offers late summer elegance from August through early September.
  • Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia)
    Pure white, camellia-like flowers with orange anthers bloom solitary in succession from June to August, giving plenty of drama and beauty through the season.
  • Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulate)
    This small tree offers fragrant, off-white, tiny flowers borne in showy, large, terminal panicles in early summer.
  • Korean Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
    Dramatic flowers with four large, showy, white bracts that age to a delicate pink sit atop tree foliage for up to six weeks in early summer.
  • Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboretum)
    Fragrant, lily-of-the-valley-like flowers drip from branch tips in summer with excellent scarlet fall color, making this tree both a summer and autumn favorite.
  • Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
    Flowers, borne singly, have large, 6-8 inches wide, pure white petals. These trees bloom sporadically through the summer months.
  • Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
    Fragrant, showy, white flowers appear throughout the summer, similar to but smaller than those of the Southern Magnolia.
  • Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)
    A native tree with fragrant, white flowers borne in summer on pendulous, wisteria-like panicles. This tree often flowers on alternate years but is stunning when it does.

Any of these beauties can be a dramatic and welcome addition to summer landscaping, reaching their peak just at the time when spring blooms are fading and autumn flowers and foliage are weeks away from brilliance.

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