Flowering trees are a major asset in a house landscape, covering themselves with colorful blossoms that can span the colour chart. Several types of trees have bright purple flowers and leaves with fuzzy surfaces, adding much more interest. They differ in size and blooming season, providing numerous choices for a home gardener.
The empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) can also be referred to as the princess tree. A native of China, it can achieve a height at maturity of 30 to 40 feet, with an equal spread. The tree has large, heart-shaped leaves that are fuzzy-surfaced, especially in their undersides. In early spring, usually April or May, the tree has lavender-to-purple tubular flowers that could be 2 inches long and have dark purple spots in their interiors. A highly attractive tree when grown as a specimen, the empress tree produces many winged seeds that could require cleanup. The tree is suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8.
Cork Bush Tree
The cork bush tree (Mundulea sericea) is a small tree that usually grows about 8 to 10 feet tall. An African native, it grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Sometimes referred to as silver bush or the Rhodesian silver-leaf tree, it has light green, delicate leaves with silver-colored hairs on the opposite, giving the leaves a shimmering appearance. In spring, the tree has masses of little purple flowers that attract insects; the flowers typically last through summer and sometimes into fall. The cork bush tree also has bark that resembles cork, which is accountable for the common name.
Purple Glory Tree
The purple appeal tree (Tibouchina granulosa) lives up to its title, with a glorious abundance of purple flowers. A small evergreen tree that is 10 to 15 feet tall at maturity, it has velvety, dark-green, 6-inch-long leaves with prominent veining. Its bright purple flowers appear in spring. Even though the flowers can look at any time they are most plentiful between May and January. The purple appeal tree is appropriate for outdoor culture in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, or it might be grown in a large container at a greenhouse. Indoors, it can do well in a sunny place but needs regular pruning to keep its size under control.
Lavender Star Flower
The lavender star blossom (Grewia occidentalis) is native to South Africa and suitable for USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. If left unpruned, it will become a large tree. But if pruned to one trunk when youthful, lavender star blossom becomes a small shrub approximately 9 feet tall. It has deep green, slightly hairy leaves with pinkish-purple or lavender flowers with slender petals. The flowers look in mid-spring in tiny clusters, set off attractively against the green foliage. The tree needs full sun and abundant moisture, and it gains from acidic soil and a yearly program of the iron supplement. In case container-grown, it should be cut back after blooming to help keep the tree’s growth under control.