There are many trees that not only survive but also thrive in Texas’ warm and sunny climate. Which ones also produce beautiful summer blossoms for a spectacular-looking yard?
Good trees to plant for flowers in the Texas summer include the Desert Willow, Texas Wild Olive, Dogwood Tree, Southern Magnolia, Guayacan Tree, and the Jerusalem Thorn Tree. Make sure your trees are provide good compost before the blooming season to give them the nutrients they need for max blooms.
In this article, I’ll be taking a deeper look into each of these trees and exploring their unique characteristics, physical features, and where they would look best in a yard.
Desert Willow Tree (Chilopsis linearis)
Though the desert willow isn’t actually a willow, it’s named so because its leaves resemble willow. This tree often has a leaning, twisting trunk and profuse, funnel-shaped dark pink or purple blossoms. It is highly popular for its beautiful blooms and drought tolerance.
It is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. Growing between 15 to 25 feet (4.6- 7.6 m), this tree works great as a widescreen or tall hedge. It is effortless to maintain and makes a vibrant, colorful addition to one’s yard.
Adapted to desert washes, it needs little water or heavy maintenance. Its seeds are eaten by wildlife, and hummingbirds love the flowers.
Texas Wild Olive Tree (Cordia boissieri)
Also known as the Mexican Olive, this tree is perfect for ornamenting a Texan landscape with its showy, trumpet-like white blossoms and delicate yellow throats.
It sports its flowers through the summer and winter and sporadically throughout the year. Its fruit and flowers attract a wide array of wildlife, from hummingbirds, butterflies to deer and birds.
The Wild Olive typically grows to 15 feet (4.6 m) high and 10 feet (3 m) wide. Though it is incredibly hardy, able to withstand drought, heat, and wind, it cannot tolerate cold winters. It grows only in Texas and parts of Mexico.
Guayacan Tree (Guaiacum angustifolium)
Also known as soap bush, this tree grows commonly – and near exclusively – in Texas and Mexico. It can grow to a height of 20 feet (6.1 m) but usually stays within an 8-10 foot (2.4- 3 m) range.
The leaves are small, leathery, and fold up at night and midday to conserve water. They appear to grow straight out of the tree’s branches, giving them an interesting, pasted-on appearance.
Its flowers are yellow or blue to purple and fragrant, blooming in clusters from March through the summer months and into September. This tree makes for a great accent plant or focal point and is an excellent cover for wildlife.
Vitex Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
Native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia, this tree blooms from early spring, throughout the summer, and into early fall. Its flowers emerge as clusters of long, upright spikes and are pink, lilac and white with a pleasant fragrance.
Because it tolerates droughts and hot summers well, many southerners use it as a replacement for lilac trees. It doesn’t need to be watered after being established.
Blossoms from this tree attract butterflies and bees, which makes it a wonderful honey plant. It is an excellent choice as a shrub border or as a specimen tree.
Rough Leaf Dogwood Tree (Cornus drummondii)
Growing up to 16 feet (4.9 m) in height, this tree bears broad and numerous clusters of white-yellow flowers blooming from May to August. Its leaves have a surface of rough hairs, which is where it gets its name. The leaves make it very recognizable, as does its hard, white fruit.
This tree is a valuable wildscaping plant, as its fruit provides food for at least 40 species of birds. Its flowers attract a wide array of beneficial insects.
It is native to North America and very hardy, thriving in harsh, dry, and hot climates. It reaches up to 25 feet (7.6 m) tall and 10-15 feet (3-4.6 m) wide. It is an excellent choice for hedges, borders, or general decoration.
Southern Magnolia Tree (Magnolia grandiflora)
This tree bears large, creamy white flowers in late spring, appearing throughout the summer and fall. It grows to a height of 60 to 80 feet (18 to 24 m) and 40 feet (12.2 m) wide. The flowers can sometimes grow up 12 inches (305 mm) across and have a rich fragrance.
Its leaves are evergreen, leathery, and lustrous dark green. It has bright red seeds and fruit, which are eaten by wildlife such as squirrels, rabbits, birds, and turkeys. Once mature, the seeds hang from the pods on slender threads.
Native to the Southeastern US, the magnolia is planted worldwide in warm climates and subtropical regions. It makes for a beautiful ornamental or shade tree.
Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
This tree is a much smaller cultivar of the Southern Magnolia tree, containing all the larger tree’s beauty in a reduced size. (Flowers and leaves look pretty much the same.) It produces similar beautiful, fragrant white flowers from spring through summer.
It is slow-growing, reaching up to 20 feet (6.1 m) tall over 20 years. The leaves are evergreen, with shiny green tops, making the tree attractive year-round.
It is a popular choice for an ornamental tree and makes for a fantastic standout specimen or a floral screen or hedge. Planted in rows of three or four, it creates a striking look everyone will admire.
Sugarberry Anacua Tree (Ehretia anacua)
This tree is native to South Texas and blooms from spring through summer. With its clusters of white, fragrant flowers, and evergreen leaves, this tree is a beloved ornamental in Texas.
The Sugarberry Anacua grows between 20-45 feet (6.1-13.7 m) and 35 feet (10.7 m) wide and is very hardy in dry areas. It is also known as the ‘sandpaper tree’ because of its rough leaves, which are also very fun to touch.
After it flowers, it produces orange berry-like fruit, which is where it gets the name ‘sugarberry.’ These fruits are edible and can even be made into a sweet jam.
Jerusalem Thorn Tree (Parkinsonia aculeata)
The Jerusalem Thorn reaches up to 30 feet (9.1 m) but is typically around 15 (4.6 m). It has very long, graceful thin branches which bear lots of long, dainty, feathery leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.
The flowers have 5 petals, one of which contains a honey gland at its base that becomes red and stays on the stalk longer than the rest. The flowers are rich in nectar and attract bees and beneficial insects. They bloom profusely throughout the summer.
Native to Central Texas, South, Northern South America, and West to Arizona, the Jerusalem Thorn is drought, heat, and saline tolerant. It is perfect as either an ornamental or hedge plant.