Cercis canadensis, Cornus florida and Cladrastis kentukea are scientific names of some well-known flowering trees. These trees are more commonly known as redbud, flowering dogwood and American yellowwood.
Cercis canadensis, or redbud, produces masses of small magenta blooms for about three weeks in the spring. The tree is native to North America and grows to 25 feet tall in zones four through nine. The deciduous leaves turn bright yellow in the fall.
Cornus florida, or flowering dogwood, produces four-petaled blooms in white or pink and white. Different cultivars bloom at different of times, and gardeners can mix varieties for continuous blooms throughout the spring. The blossoms give way to red berries, which are popular with local birds. The tree grows between 10 to 20 feet and prefers a shaded location. The plant is hardy in zones five through nine.
Cladrastis kentukea, or American yellowwood, is a taller tree, growing between 30 and 50 feet tall. The tree has smooth, silver bark and blooms in early summer with cascading white flowers. Peak blooming occurs every second or third year, and young trees do not bloom at all until they have grown to approximately 12 feet tall. The tree is winter hardy in zones four through nine.