As we all know, the cherry blossom tree is a symbol of Japan which has beautiful flowers with various colors such as red, pink, purple, yellow, and white. While the most popular colors are white and pink.
The cherry blossom tree belongs to the Prunus family where it grows in areas with a moderate climate. Beautiful flowers bloom in spring and bloom together until they cover almost all parts of the tree roof.
But unfortunately, cherry blossom trees are unable to grow in many hot tropical regions.
That’s why we want to write this article and provide solutions for those of you who want to find alternative cherry blossom trees. Some of these trees are well known in the tropics, and you might even find them as shrubs or shade tree the edge of the highway.
What are some tropical trees that can be used as an alternative to cherry blossom? Here is the list:
Javanese cassia or Java cassia are flowering tree species of the Fabaceae family. This tree originates from southeast Asia, but because of its beautiful flowers, it is now widely planted in various tropical regions throughout most of the world. In English, this tree is known as Java Cassia, Konji, Pink Shower, Apple Blossom Tree, and Rainbow Shower Tree.
In their habitat, Javanese cassia trees live in secondary forests and more open environments such as savannahs. It can grow in areas with a height of about 400 m above sea level. In Java, this tree grows in volcanic clay, sandy soils, marshlands, and calcareous soils. You could say this tree is tolerant of various types of soil.
Javanese Cassia also has yellow flowers from the Cassia fistula species, and another hybrid color variant, Cassia × nealiae.
Tabebuia is a genus of flowering trees that have various flower color variants that vary from species to species. The most common types grown in the tropics are Tabebuia Pink (Tabebuia rosea) and Tabebuia Yellow (Tabebuia chrysantha).
Because of the many types of Tabebuia from various countries, you can choose one of the flower colors according to the species:
Tabebuia Pink Soft (Tabebuia roseo-alba)
Tabebuia Yellow (Tabebuia chrysantha)
Tabebuia Brazilian Yellow (Tabebuia ochracea)
Tabebuia Yellow Ipe (Handroanthus serratifolius)
Tabebuia White (Handroanthus albus)
Tabebuia Plum (Handroanthus impetiginosus)
Tabebuia Magenta (Handroanthus heptaphyllus)
Tabebuia tree is thought to originate from Brazil, and in its original habitat, it grows in arid regions, so that the tree has a high survival rate in dry weather and hot temperatures.
Tabebuia became one of the competitors in the Cherry Blossom tree. Besides the tree that can grow in hot climates, it is also tolerant of various types of soil. Maintenance is fairly easy, and there are rarely pests or plant diseases that interfere with the Tabebuia tree.
Jacaranda is a genus of flowering plants consisting of 49 species in the family Bignoniaceae. The tree is native to tropical and subtropical regions from Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas. Today, Jacaranda
trees have been widely planted and cultivated in Asia, especially in Nepal.
Jacaranda tree can grow with a height of 25-30 meters and it has purple flowers that are very beautiful when blooming.
4. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
Crape myrtle is one of the most popular flowering trees in Southeast Asia. When in bloom, Crape myrtle flowers look very attractive, with pink and swarming almost all of the canopy of the tree.
There are several types of Crape myrtle that are popular as ornamental plants, but the most common is the Crape myrtle with shrub-shaped trees, namely Lagerstroemia indica. While other types are those that have wide leaves, it is called Lagerstroemia speciosa.
5. Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia)
Who is not familiar with Royal Poinciana tree? This large tree, which can be as high as 30-35 meters, has beautiful red seasonal flowers.
Royal poinciana is a alternative Cherry Blossom trees that have beautiful flowers during the flowering season. He can be said to be a candidate for a flowering tree that can be planted as an ornamental tree as well as a shade tree in the yard because of its wide canopy.
6. Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma)
Flame of the Forest is a tree species of the genus Butea that originates from the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the Indian and Southeast Asian. This is a deciduous tree in the dry season, the tree is small, it can only grow as high as 15 meters.
Flame of the Forest is a tree that grows fast and has red flowers that are exposed because they bloom when the leaves fall in the summer.
Bougainvillea is a popular ornamental plant whose tree is a small tree that is difficult to grow upright. Its beauty comes from its brightly colored and attractive flowers because it grows lushly accompanied by the autumn leaves in the summer.
Care of this tree is very easy, it does not require a long time because this plant species is very suitable to be planted in hot tropical climates.
8. Bottlebrush (Melaleuca viminalis)
Bottlebrush is a shrub or small tree that grows with many branches and has pendulous leaves. The tree produces large red flowers in spring and summer. This species is most often cultivated as an ornamental plant and its cultivars are often planted in many countries, including:
Callistemon viminalis ‘Captain Cook’
Callistemon viminalis ‘Rose Opal’
Callistemon viminalis ‘Dawson River Weeper’
Callistemon viminalis ‘Hannah Ray’
Callistemon viminalis ‘Prolific’
Callistemon viminalis ‘Hen Camp Creek’
Callistemon viminalis ‘Wild River’
9. Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa)
Pohutukawa is a tree that often grows on the coast of the Myrtaceae family and produces a brilliant red flower display (sometimes orange, yellow, or white) made from its stamen mass.
The pohutukawa tree is one of 12 species of Metrosideros that are endemic in New Zealand. This tree is famous for its bright color and ability to survive, and even it is often found growing on rocky cliffs.
10. Red Cotton (Bombax ceiba)
The red cotton tree is a medium-sized Asian tropical tree that has thorny stems and deciduous leaves. The flowers are red with 5 petals appear in spring before new leaves. This tree produces fruit that contains white fibers such as cotton.
This tree is widely planted in Southeast Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and many more.
According to Chinese historical records, king Nam Yuet (now southern China and northern Vietnam), Zhao Tuo, gave this tree to the emperor of the Han dynasty in the 2nd century BC.
11. Copperpod (Pterocarpum peltophorum)
Copperpod is a Peltophorum species native to tropical Southeast Asia. This yellow flowering tree is widely planted in the tropics as an ornamental tree, especially in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Florida, and Hawaii in the United States.
12. Mimosa (Acacia)
Mimosa is a flowering tree species from the Fabaceae family, native to southeast Australia in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory. The tree has long been cultivated and for the beauty of the Mediterranean landscape, where it is commonly planted in areas with moderate climate and tropical highlands.
Mimosa has rapid growth, it can reach a maximum height of up to 30 meters. The flowers appear in large inflorescences of racemose, which are made up of various small bright yellow flowers.
Specifically, the Acacia dealbata species has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
In addition to this species, some of his relatives from Acacia also have a similar appearance and can also be planted as ornamental trees. That includes:
13. Mempat (Cratoxylum formosum)
Mempat (Cratoxylum formosum) is a tree that reaches a maximum height of up to 45 meters, although in the wild it is rare to reach this size because once it has exceeded 30 meters it is cut down to harvest its valuable wood.
The mempat tree blooms in the dry season followed by the rainy season, with beautiful light purple flowers.
This tree comes from tropical areas in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
14. Purple Glory (Tibouchina granulosa)
Purple Glory Tree (Tibouchina granulosa) is considered as one species of ornamental tree with abundant flowers. The flowers last from early to late summer.
This tree can grow to 10 meters tall and requires good acidic soil to flower (it is recommended to use an acid fertilizer). Apart from acid soils, the tree also does very well in full sun and good drainage.
The Purple Glory Tree can grow in USDA hardiness zones 10b through 11. The tree is very intolerant of temperatures below freezing.
15. Taiwanese Rain Tree (Koelreuteria elegans)
The Taiwanese Rain Tree (Koelreuteria elegans) is a tree endemic to Taiwan that can grow to 16-18 meters tall. This tree is planted widely throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world as a street tree. The tree flowers bloom from early to mid-summer.
Although it is classified as a beautiful tree, several countries categorize it as a weed, such as in Brisbane, Australia, and Hawaii.
16. Hong Kong Orchid (Bauhinia × blakeana)
The Hong Kong Orchid (Bauhinia × blakeana) is a tree from the Bauhinia clan with butterfly wing-shaped leaves and striking purplish-red flowers.
The flowers are fragrant and resemble the shape of an orchid flower, usually bauhinia flowers are 10-15 cm long and bloom from early to late summer.
In Hong Kong, this plant is most often referred to by its Chinese name, “洋 紫荊”.
17. Nusa Indah (Mussaenda sp.)
Nusa Indah (Mussaenda sp.) Is a species of flowering plant found in Indonesia. This plant grows wild on hillsides, shrubs, and is often cultivated as an ornamental plant.
There are several species and varieties of plants from the genus Mussaenda that have flowers of various colors, namely White, Pink, and Red.
For Sumatran people, this plant is known as Daun Putri or Nusa Indah. Its branches, leaves, and roots are often used as traditional medicine.
18. Skyflower (Duranta erecta)
Skyflower (Duranta erecta) is a shrub that can grow to 7 meters high and can form a wide canopy with beautiful blue flowers and striking orange fruit. The tree is widely grown as an ornamental plant in home yards or public parks throughout the warm tropics and subtropics.
These specimens come from America, from Mexico and the Caribbean in the south to Brazil and Argentina. Some botanists debate whether this plant also originated in the southern United States, such as in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, and California, or was a species introduced there.
WARNING: Excerpted from the Wikipedia page, immature leaves and fruit are poisonous, and are confirmed to have killed children and pets such as dogs and cats. However, the effect of the poison is not effective on songbirds eating the fruit.
19. Sandpaper Vine (Petrea volubilis)
Sandpaper vine (Petrea volubilis) or better known as the Purple Wreath and Queen’s Wreath is a vine native to Tropical America. The tree is valued for producing pretty and attractive blossoms in a bright purplish-blue.
This tree is very famous in the world of ornamental plants, even though when it was young it was a vine, but when it was mature it would produce a sturdy woody trunk and was able to stand on its own to support the entire tree canopy.
20. Yellow Mai (Ochna integerrima)
Yellow Mai (Ochna integerrima) is a plant species in the genus Ochna. In the wild, this tree grows as a shrub with a height of 4-5 meters, and rarely 7 meters.
Mexican Lilac (Gliricidia sepium) is a type of shrub that is often used as a living fence or shade. This tree is one of the most important multipurpose legume species, the Mexican Lilac also produces very dense flowers that are purple or white.
The tree can grow in various types of soil, from marshes to dry land. If it is planted in a dry place and the temperature is hot, when the season is very hot the leaves will fall and give rise to dense flowers.
22. Himalayan Ash (Fraxinus griffithii)
Himalayan Ash or Evergreen Ash (Fraxinus griffithii) is a species of flowering tree native to the mountains of Southeast Asia. It is known that this tree grows naturally in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Taiwan, China, Bangladesh, and India.
Cultivation and utilization of this tree are still very minimal and have recently been used as an ornamental tree in public gardens and as a shade tree for roads.
23. Yellow Elder (Tecoma stans)
Yellow Elder (Tecoma stans) is a species of perennial flowering shrub in the Bignoniaceae family, which is native to tropical America. This tree is known by many names in the world, including Yellow trumpet bush, Yellow bells, Yellow elder, and Ginger-thomas.
The yellow elder tree is the official flower of the Virgin Islands in the United States and the symbol of the Bahamas flower.
24. Frangipani (Plumeria sp.)
Plumeria is the name of a genus of plants. The shape is a small tree with sparse but thick leaves. The flowers are large and have a very distinctive fragrance. Each species has its flower color, for example, Plumeria rubra with red flowers, Plumeria alba with white flowers, and Plumeria inodora with yellow-white flowers.
The tree is very tough and long-lived. Frangipani can grow in hot temperatures and dry soil. It will produce dense flowers in the summer and occasionally shed leaves.
25. Tipa (Tipuana tipu)
Tipa or Pride of Bolivia (Tipuana tipu) is a South American tree and the only member in the genus Tipuana. This tree is famous for its use as a road shade tree and a decorative garden tree.
In some countries, the Tipa tree is seen as an invasive weed and is known to have a very aggressive root system. Tipa is listed as a Category 3 Invasive species in South Africa.
That’s the list of beautiful flowering trees that can be an alternative to Cherry Blossom. You can choose the most suitable for your page.
If you want your tree to produce dense flowers, make sure to always care for them properly. Starting from routine pruning, applying appropriate fertilizers, to cleaning from pests.
Use the internet to explore more in botanical science about how the characteristics of the tree live in nature, what kind of habitat is it, what is the temperature, what is the drainage, what is the type of soil, what is the pH of the soil, and much more. The more you know this information, the more knowledge you will acquire to care for the tree to be healthy and produce the full blossoms you expect.
This article will be continuously updated to add a list of new flowering tree names. If you have any suggestions, feel free to write them down in the comments below.