Love in Bloom

Flowering trees bring the landscape to life. Their blossoms will delight your senses and set your garden apart.

By Marty Ross


flowering tree American yellowwoodAMERICAN YELLOWWOOD
Cladrastis kentukea
30-50 ft

Glorious drooping panicles of fragrant white flowers put on a great show in early summer; the display is especially effective against a backdrop of conifers, says Sternberg. Yellowwood is native to the mid-Atlantic and the Midwest but is now very rare in the wild. It is prized for its smooth, silvery bark, "second-best to beech," in Bell's opinion. The flowers are luxurious, and a bee magnet, but yellowwood doesn't bloom until trees are over 12 feet tall, and then the blooms are best every second or even third year. Fall foliage is a soft yellow. It grows 30 to 50 feet tall with a wider spread. Prune it from an early age to encourage a graceful mature form, Sternberg advises. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.