Winter-flowering Trees and Shrubs
It might be brief compared to other parts of the country, but Florida still has a winter season. Luckily, even in the coldest part of the year there are flowers to be found in our sunshine state.
Here are some of the trees and shrubs you may see flowering throughout the state in the middle of winter (generally January and February).
Camellias — A southern favorite, camellia flower provide winter color for gardeners in North and Central Florida. These shrubs make a great addition to the landscape with their evergreen foliage, interesting shapes and textures, and relatively slow growth.
Red Maple — This tree gets a lot attention in North and Central Florida during the fall for its dazzling leaf display, a special treat for the generally lush and green Florida. However, this tree is equally eye-catching during the late winter and early spring with its beautiful red flowers. Photo: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
Hong Kong Orchid Tree — This tree dazzles with a display of orchid-like blooms in South Florida. Appearing in multiple shades of purple, rose, and pink, these flowers can usually been seen for much of the year as blooms occur in summer, fall, and early to mid-winter.
White Frangipani — Also called plumeria, frangipani is a tropical beauty that brings fragrant blooms to the winter landscape in South Florida, and areas farther north when protected from the cold. Pinwheel-shaped blooms can be found in white, yellow, pink, or variegated hues.
Chickasaw Plum — This Florida-friendly small tree looks great in North and Central Florida landscapes. This native plant is particularly stunning thanks to the fact that flowers appear before the tree puts out new leaves. Its cousin the flatwoods plum also flowers in early spring.
Eastern Redbud — These native trees are well-known for their attractive floral displays that signal the end of winter and usher in the beginning of spring. Clusters of small pink or white flowers dazzle and delight those who see these lovely blossoms adorning the tree's bare branches.
Eastern Dogwood — Another native, dogwood trees are popular in North and Central Florida and produce blooms of small white flowers in February. Photo: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Fringetree — This deciduous tree bursts into bloom with ribbon-like flowers. Delicate, lightly fragrant white flowers cover these trees for about two weeks in late winter or early spring. Fringetrees lose their leaves in the winter, but in late spring your tree's glossy green leaves will return.
Saucer Magnolia — Another tree that bids good-bye to winter and ushers in spring with a bang, saucer magnolia trees present an impressive display of large, pinkish flowers. These trees can be grown successfully in North and Central Florida.
Taiwan Cherry — In January and February Taiwan cherry erupts into bloom with flamingo-pink flowers, the sight of which is sure to stop you in your tracks. Grown in North and Central Florida, this Florida-friendly tree also produces fruits loved by birds.
Bougainvillea — In South Florida, bougainvillea can be seen blooming in February. This tropical vining shrub comes in a wide array of bright and fanciful colors. But did you know that the "flowers" are actually modified leaves called bracts?
These are some of the most popular and oft-noticed trees and shrubs flowering around the state in January and February. These also happen to be the plants featured on our monthly What's Flowering in Florida infographics for those two months. You can find infographics for what is flowering in your area each month here.