Spring Blossom – The Magnificent Seven

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the blossom is?

Cherries are, of course, a perennial favourite for spring blossom, but there are other great options to choose from. Here are seven of our favourite flowering trees.

crab apple

Crab apple (Malus ‘Royalty’)

An attractive upright ornamental crab apple with magenta flowers in spring. It has the added bonus that the glossy foliage that turns deep red in autumn. The small red fruits make a fine crab apple jelly, or left alone provide a good food source for birds in winter.

Snowy Mespilus blossom

Snowy Mespilus (Amelanchier lamarckii)

In March the branches erupt with a froth of star-shaped brilliant white flowers, just as the coppery pink young leaves unfold; in late summer the branches are studded with dark red berries which become purple-black as they ripen.

Cornelian cherry blossom

Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas)

In early spring, the bare stems are peppered with small, bright yellow flowers. These are followed by handsome leaves which turn reddish-purple in autumn, and make for an impressive background for the bright red, cherry-like edible fruits.

cockspur thorn blossom

Cockspur thorn (Crataegus crus-galli)

The cockspur thorn, so named because its thorns are the size of a cockerel’s spur, bears a mass of creamy-white flowers in late spring or early summer, followed by large clusters of deep-red fruit in autumn.

star magnolia

Star/Starry magnolia (Magnolia stellata)

Perhaps more shrub than tree, Magnolia stellata produces pure white, star-shaped blooms in very early spring. The flowers are occasionally flushed with pink, gently fragrant and open from silky buds.

Empress Tree

Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)

The Empress tree produces scented, pale lilac flowers on erect panicles that stand up like foxgloves. Sitting on the bare branches in early spring, the flowers look like a lilac mist from afar.

Golden Chain tree

Voss’s laburnum or Golden Chain tree (Laburnum × watereri ‘Vossii’)

This laburnum produces long racemes of magnificent bright yellow flowers that hang from the branches in late spring or early summer for up to three weeks. The flowers are highly scented and popular with bees. The light green foliage provides a bright backdrop for the luminous flowers.