Red flowering trees bring a touch of natural elegance to any garden, painting the landscape with vibrant hues of crimson and ruby. From the enchanting Red Buckeye’s tubular-shaped blossoms that beckon hummingbirds to the exotic Red Frangipani’s lush, fragrant flowers, these trees are a captivating addition to your outdoor oasis. We’ll explore 15 red flowering trees with pictures and insights to help you choose the perfect scarlet gem for your garden.
Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
The Red Buckeye is a small tree famous for its red tubular-shaped flowers, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. Native to North America, it thrives in well-drained, moist soil and is perfect for woodland gardens, native gardens, or miniature landscapes. The tree prefers partial shade in hot summer climates but can tolerate full sun with adequate moisture.
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)
With its vibrant red shades, the Crape Myrtle is a fast-growing tree that boasts large clusters of crinkled flowers throughout summer. Its foliage transitions from crimson in spring to dark green and finally to eye-catching red and orange in the fall. These low-maintenance trees can thrive in various soil types, even tolerating heat and drought. Notable varieties include ‘Red Rocket,’ ‘Dynamite,’ and ‘Tonto,’ each offering unique beauty.
Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus carnea)
The Red Horse Chestnut is known for its cone-shaped clusters of bright red flowers and large palmate leaves. These striking clusters bloom in late spring, creating a pinkish-red floral spectacle. The tree is relatively low-maintenance and can withstand various soil types, making it an ideal choice for garden or landscape focal points.
Red Silk Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba)
The Red Silk Cotton Tree, with its smooth gray bark and vibrant red flowers, is a tropical beauty. Native to warm climates, it provides ample shade in large open spaces and parks. Perfect for southern states, this tree boasts a striking appearance and thrives in hot, humid conditions. Its unique seeds, covered in silky, woolly hairs, add to the tree’s intrigue.
Red Frangipani Tree (Plumeria rubra)
The Red Frangipani is a tropical tree with stunning magenta flowers and a sweet fragrance. Its year-round blooming adds vibrant colors to any outdoor space. Native to tropical regions, it thrives in hot and humid climates and performs well in medium-moist, well-drained soils. Whether in gardens or as a patio tree, the Red Frangipani is a stunning choice for tropical landscapes.
Royal Poinciana Tree (Delonix regia)
Known as the flamboyant tree, the Royal Poinciana blooms with stunning scarlet-orange flowers, creating a breathtaking canopy. After flowering, colorful blossoms give way to bean-like seed pods, adding year-round interest. Famous for its lovely flowers and low maintenance, it can grow as a shade, lawn, or street tree, thriving in various soil types.
Chinese Hibiscus Tree With Red Flowers (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
The Chinese Hibiscus tree produces large, showy, trumpet-like red flowers with a floral fragrance. Their papery petals and protruding stamens make them a striking choice for tropical gardens. In addition to their beauty, these trees feature glossy, dark green leaves. Ideal for privacy hedges or as an ornamental shrub, they prefer well-drained soil and thrive in tropical regions.
Powderpuff Tree (Calliandra haematocephala)
The Powderpuff Tree is a small tree with distinctive red powderpuff flowerheads. These bright scarlet flowers contrast beautifully with delicate fern-like leaves. Blooming in fall, winter, and sporadically throughout the year, it thrives in well-drained, organically rich, fertile soil. Once established, it can tolerate heat and drought with minimal pruning, making it a statement piece in any landscape.
Red Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
Also known as the Peacock Flower, the Red Bird of Paradise is a tropical shrub or small tree adorned with red and orange flowers. These bowl-shaped, five-petaled wonders bloom on prickly stems from spring through fall. Along with their vibrant appearance, the tree’s fern-like leaves and spiny branches add to its appeal. Drought-tolerant and ideal for hot and dry climates, it’s a fantastic choice for desert gardens and xeriscape landscapes.
Red Flowering Gum Tree (Corymbia ficifolia)
The Red Flowering Gum Tree is a fast-growing evergreen tree that blooms in various shades of red, pink, and orange. Its large, showy flowers attract nectar-feeding birds and bees, making it perfect for wildlife gardens. With glossy dark green leaves and an ability to thrive in hot, dry landscapes, it’s an excellent choice for adding vibrant color to your garden. The tree’s salt air tolerance also makes it suitable for coastal gardens.
Pomegranate Tree (Punica granatum)
The Pomegranate Tree is a small deciduous tree cherished for its scarlet flowers and delicious fruit. Its cup-shaped scarlet flowers are a visual delight, giving way to round, juicy pomegranate fruits filled with sweet-tart arils. Popular in Mediterranean-style gardens and as container plants, these trees add color and flavor to your outdoor space.
Crimson Bottlebrush Tree (Melaleuca citrina)
The Crimson Bottlebrush Tree is a small evergreen with unique, bottlebrush-shaped bright red flowers. Its leaves release a delightful citrusy fragrance when crushed, and the glossy green foliage beautifully contrasts with the crimson flowers. Ideal for coastal gardens, this drought-tolerant tree thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.
Tree Rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum)
The Tree Rhododendron is a large, evergreen shrub that can be grown as a small red-flowering tree. Its trumpet-shaped red flowers emit a sweet fragrance in the summer, and the dark green, leathery leaves may turn bronze or reddish-purple in the fall. It prefers well-drained, acidic soil and partial shade, perfect for more significant landscapes which can withstand colder climates.
Red Flowering Dogwood Tree (Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Chief’)
The Red Flowering Dogwood Tree is an ornamental tree with vibrant red flowers, perfect for small gardens. Its unique cluster of red bracts, tiny green flowers, and attractive foliage create a year-round visual spectacle. Well-suited for shade near lawns or patios, this tree prefers acidic to neutral, well-drained, and moist soil.
Prairifire Crabapple (Malus prairifire)
The ‘Prairifire’ crabapple is a small fruiting tree celebrated for its dark pink to red flowers. These blossoms cluster together, creating a captivating sight in mid to late spring. Once they fade, small cherry-like apples appear, attracting pollinators and wildlife. The tree’s golden-bronze foliage in the fall adds a final touch of seasonal beauty to your landscape. Thriving in moderately fertile soil with excellent drainage, it’s a beautiful addition to wildlife gardens.
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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa’s work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.