For many upstart gardeners with a particular penchant for flowers, the focus too often seems to center on wildflowers seed packets, potted flowers, and bulbs. While these are worthy of planting and no doubt beautiful, flowering trees put on the most impressive displays of blooms.

And, just as we can grow great cut-flower gardens and pollinator gardens with an assortment of edible blooms, we can also grow flowering trees that will provide food as well as beauty. Some of our most cherished fruit trees are renowned for their flowers as well, often with ornamental versions more focused on flowers than fruit.

Well, why not get the best of both worlds! There are loads of trees that are well-suited for flower aficionados as well as productive for those of us looking to grow edible landscapes.

1. Cherries

Cherry blossoms are a phenomenon appreciated the world over, famously in Japan but also in Paris, Washington D.C., and New York. Of course, these cherry trees are ornamental, but fruit-bearing cherry trees have lots of beautiful blooms, too. And, they can provide pies and jam and treats later on down the road.

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2. Crabapples

They don’t warrant the same praise as cultivated apples in terms of food, but crabapples usually get more adoration for the flower displays. There are ornamental crabapple trees, but the fruiting varieties do provide apples worthy of homemade apple sauce, apple pies, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar.

3. Kousa Dogwood

Also known as Korean dogwoods and Japanese dogwoods, kousa dogwood trees (Cornus kousa) are typically planted for their amazing blooms in early summer. That they produce delicious drupes is something folks tend to ignore or become annoyed with. But, the kousa dogwood “berry” tastes wonderfully tropical and comes in abundance.

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4. Mountain Ash

Famous as wood for wands in Harry Potter books, mountain ash, or rowan, trees were commonly carried to repel evil, and the small red berries can be eaten in jams or jellies. Like elderberries, they need to be cooked to get rid of a mild toxin. Mountain ashes are native trees on the east coast of the U.S. and provide lovely white flower displays in late spring.

5. Peaches

While peach blossoms don’t get quite the press cherry blossoms do, they are a stunning springtime treat, putting out a huge show of generally pink flowers. Of course, in mid-summer, the fruits are ready to eat, and the flowers of spring decidedly take a back seat. Few things are finer than a fresh peach right off the peach tree.

6. Pineapple Guava

Guavas are normally thought of as tropical fruits, but the pineapple guava is capable of living in the southern United States, from USDA Zone 8 and warmer. They have delicious fruit, but the evergreen tree has flashy red flowers as well. It is considered a great garden addition because it has notable foliage, flowers, and fruit.

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7. Redbuds

Eastern redbuds are a tree native to much of the United States. They are famed and beloved for their pink (not red) blooms in early spring before they leaf out. After the flowers depart, the leaves are a lovely heart shape. This one doesn’t produce fruit, but the flowers are edible and delicious if one can bring themselves to eat them.

8. Rose of Sharon

A member of the hibiscus family, which has several edible species (including okra), the rose of Sharon is a cold-hardy tree/shrub that has tons of those classically beautiful hibiscus flowers in late summer. The flowers are edible as are the leaves, which taste a bit like lettuce but with mucilage a la okra.

9. Serviceberries

Serviceberries include several different species and are sometimes called juneberries. They put out attractive white flowers in spring, about the time the ground has thawed sufficiently for funeral services (hence the name). The flowers are a great spirit lifter after winter, and the berries are similar to blueberries.

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10. Quinces

These trees have both fruiting and flowering varieties. The fruiting species, which can’t cross-pollinate with the flowering, also put out large, aromatic white flowers in spring. Then, in the fall, the fruit quince trees have large yellow fruits that make great jam, liquors, and baked treats.

With these ten trees, it’s possible to fill the yard with flowers while getting plenty to eat at the same time. That’s just a sensible way to approach landscape in general.

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