Trees whose flowers bloom in clusters can be showy, with thick bunches of petals highly visible among the leaves. Purple flowering trees are not as common as those with colours such as white or yellow. If the tree you're trying to identify has purple blossoms that are also shaped like bells, your choices narrow to just a few trees.
This is a South American tree, the flowers range from blue to lavender to purple, grow in clusters and have a long bell or trumpet shape. The tree grows up to 40 feet high and has fernlike leaves. It is not tolerant of salty air that you might find right on the coastline, but the Ventura County, California, Cooperative Extension says these trees will grow if not exposed to ocean winds. As the blossoms fall and decay, they leave prominent -- and messy -- stains on concrete sidewalks and curbs. Jacarandas initially bloom in late spring and can have a second blooming period in fall. Jacaranda jasminoides, or purple flower jacaranda, has darker, maroon-purple flowers and can grow in southern Florida.
The Jacaranda copaia also has purplish, bell-like flowers in clusters, but the tree looks like an unusual mix of a regular jacaranda and a palm. The copaia has a long, straight trunk without any branches until the top, where those fernlike jacaranda leaves rest in one clump. The Jacaranda copaia grows in areas such as Central America.
Pawpaw flowers don't necessarily grow in clusters, but sometimes the flowers are close enough to each other to form a cluster. The pawpaw, Asimina triloba, is native to the United States. It can grow as far south as eastern Texas. It is very common in Indiana and throughout the eastern portion of the Midwest and South. These flowers hang downward. The petals can be anywhere from maroon to dark purple to brown and form a wide bell shape, in contrast to the narrower bells on trees like the jacaranda.
- University of Florida: 97 Tropical Flowering Trees for Your South Florida Garden
- Stanford University: SLAC Today
- University of Florida: Jacaranda Mimosifolia
- Ventura County Cooperative Extension: Jacaranda
- University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Jacaranda
- Stanford University: Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
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