Trees with dark purple leaves are breathtaking and commanding. Other lists include leafless trees with purple flowers, which can somewhat mislead readers to assume that the trees are filled with purple leaves.

Trees with Dark Purple Leaves

In this list, you will find trees with only purple foliage, so let’s begin!

List of Trees With Magical Purple Leaves

1. Purpleleaf Plum Tree

Purpleleaf Plum Tree

Species information
  • Prunus cerasifera
  • Cherry plum (alternate name)
  • Rosaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 4 to 9
  • Loamy, well-draining acidic to neutral soil
  • Flowers from early spring to summer
Common pests
  • Aphids, borers, scale, spider mites
  • Japanese beetles, caterpillars,
  • Leafhoppers, tent caterpillars
Associated issues
  • This tree can be toxic to humans and domesticated animals.
  • Moderately-sensitive tree to keep because of its high susceptibility to diseases.

When you’re looking for ornamental trees with a commanding presence, look no further than those with purple or deep burgundy foliage. Mysterious and charismatic, having a few of them around your garden is guaranteed to keep onlookers spellbound.

The purple leaf plum tree is a popular landscaping element due to its attractive foliage. This purplish leaf plum tree grows moderately, allowing homeowners a well-paced enjoyment of its rounded shape. One of the best cultivars for this purplish leaf plum tree is the purple pony cherry.

Flowers from this tree are either white or pink, similar in appearance to cherry blossoms. When fully grown, this tree can reach 15 to 25 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide.

2. Sand Cherry

White Sand CherryFlowers

Species information
  • Prunus X cistena
  • Purple-leaf sand cherry, plum leaf sand cherry (alternate names)
  • Rosaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 2 to 8
  • Moist, well-draining acidic to neutral soil
  • Flowers from early spring to summer
Common pests
  • Peach tree borer, scale, aphids
  • Japanese beetles, spider mites
  • Leafhoppers, tent caterpillars
Associated issues
  • The leaves and seeds contain small amounts of hydrogen cyanide, which is a toxin common to many in the Rosaceae family.
  • It has a short lifespan.

Native to North America, this purple-leafed tree produces small purple fruits that are consumed by wildlife. As a small garden tree with purple leaves, this particular cultivar is preferred by homeowners due to its unique coloring.

This tree produces white and pink flowers when it reaches maturity, which is about 3 to 5 years. By this time, it can reach 6 to 10 feet tall and also 5 to 8 feet wide, especially when placed under full sun.

3. Japanese Maple

Vibrant Red Japanese Maple

Species information
  • Acer palmatum
  • Palmate maple, smooth Japanese maple (alternate names)
  • Sapindaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 5 to 9
  • Moist, well-draining acidic soils
  • Flowers during early spring
Common pests
  • Japanese beetles
  • Mealybug
  • Mites, scale
Associated issues
  • There is no known part of this tree that contain toxins that can harm humans or domesticated animals.
  • Prone to defoliation due to high susceptibility of having leaf spot disease

With its distinctive leaf shape and color, this maple tree is a regular in many gardens. The most popular cultivars with purple leaves are “Tamukeyama,” “Sherwood Flame,” “Garnet,” “Ever Red,” “Burgundy Lace,” and “Atropurpureum.” Once this tree matures at 10 to 25 feet tall and also 10 to 25 feet wide, it produces attractive flowers in purple or red colors.

4. Crimson King Norway Maple

Crimson King Norway Maple Leaf

Species information
  • Acer platanoides var. “Crimson King”
  • Crimson King Maple (alternate name)
  • Aceraceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 3 to 7
  • Well-draining soils, from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline
  • Flowers from spring to summer
Common pests
  • Tent caterpillars
  • Gypsy moths
  • Cankerworms
Associated issues
  • Not considered toxic but might have environmental issues as it is considered invasive in many regions.
  • Generally a low-maintenance tree

The flowers of this tree can be particularly attractive, especially since the green colors contrast with the purple colors of the leaves. When fully mature, it can reach heights up to 35 to 45 feet tall and a spread of 25 to 40 feet wide.

This colorful cultivar is beautiful to look at but can come with certain issues. Despite its beautiful purple foliage, homeowners hesitate to cultivate this one due to its invasiveness. This can impact the local biodiversity profile of any region.

5. Crepe Myrtle

White Crepe Myrtle Blooms

Species information
  • Lagerstroemia indica
  • Crepe flower, bungor, queen flower, Chinese crape myrtle (alternate names)
  • Lythraceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 6 to 9
  • Moist, well-draining neutral soils
  • Flowers from late spring to early fall
Common pests
  • Aphids
  • Japanese beetle
Associated issues
  • This tree can be considered mildly invasive in some areas, and it is also non-toxic to humans and domestic animals.
  • Prone to bark scale, which compromises both tree health and aesthetics

The tree can be found growing up to 6 to 25 feet tall and 6 to 20 feet wide in areas that receive full sun. The flowers come in shades of red, from bright scarlet to reddish pink.

This is a highly attractive tree that is found growing naturally in China, Japan, and other parts of Asia. Due to its adaptive qualities, it has been naturalized in the southern parts of the United States.

6. Helmond Pillar Barberry

Dark Helmond Pillar Barberry

Species information
  • Berberis thunbergii
  • Thunberg’s barberry, Japanese berberis (alternate names)
  • Berberidaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 4 to 8
  • Moist, well-draining neutral to acidic soils
  • Flowers from spring to summer
Common pests
  • Aphids
  • Scale
  • Barberry webworm
Associated issues
  • This thorny plant is moderately toxic to humans and domestic animals.
  • Skin contact can result in dermatitis.

This tree grows up to 3 to 6 feet tall and also 4 to 7 feet wide when placed in full sun. Each individual leaf of this plant turns into attractive shades of orange, red, and purple during autumn.

7. Black Elderberry

Black Elderberry Plants

Species information
  • Sambucus nigra, Sambucus Canadensis
  • Elderberry, American elder, common elderberry, wild elderberry (alternate names)
  • Adoxaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 3 to 9
  • Moist, well-draining neutral to acidic soils
  • Flowers from early spring to fall
Common pests
  • Aphids
  • Elder Shoot Borer
Associated issues
  • The seeds, stems, leaves, and roots of all varieties are considered toxic.
  • Ingestion can result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and possible coma.
  • Hospitalization is recommended due to the glycoside compounds in the plant, which induce cyanide production.

For mature trees, expect this one to reach 20 to 30 feet tall and also 15 to 20 feet wide. Even when grown in full sun or partial shade, you can still expect to see white or cream flowers on fully established trees.

For homeowners looking to grow varieties with purplish foliage, there’s “Black Beauty,” “Black Lace,” “Thundercloud,” and “Purpurea.” Each purple leaf is guaranteed to elicit admiration from onlookers.

8. Royal Purple Smoke Tree

Royal Purple Smoke Tree

Species information
  • Cotinus coggygria
  • Smoke bush, smoke tree, royal purple smoke bush, European smoketree, Eurasian smoketree, dyer’s sumach, Venice sumach (alternate names)
  • Anacardiaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 4 to 9
  • Loamy, well-draining soils that range from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline
  • Flowers from late spring to mid-summer
Common pests
  • Oblique-banded leafroller
  • Scale insects
Associated issues
  • All parts of this plant are mildly toxic to humans.
  • People with sensitive skin issues may develop dermatitis upon contact with this plant.

Full mature plants grow up to 10 to 15 feet tall and also 10 to 15 feet wide under full sun. Most homeowners prefer the royal purple foliage colors of this cultivar, even though there are ones with green leaves.

As a specimen tree, the purple smoke tree is a dramatic addition to any garden. Purple leaf varieties include “Nordine Red,” “Grace,” “Notcutt’s Variety,” Velvet Cloak,” and “Royal Purple.”

9. Purple Ninebark

Purple Ninebark in Garden

Species information
  • Physocarpus opulifolius
  • Eastern ninebark, Atlantic ninebark, common ninebark, ninebark (alternate names)
  • Rosaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 2 to 8
  • Cannot thrive in shady areas
Common pests
  • Aphids
  • Powdery mildew
Associated issues
  • Some reports indicate that the plant may be toxic to some level. In this case, err on the side of caution.
  • Moderately prone to underwatering

This plant is one of the more resilient flowering trees in North America. The most popular ones with purple colorings on its leaves are “Coppertina (Mindia),” “Center Glow,” “Summer Wine,” and “Diablo,” sometimes spelled as “Diabolo.”

Conclusion

Having a tree with dramatic purple colors is eye-catching enough, but if you want to make it even more dramatic, pair it with the blue Jacaranda mimosifolia or the Chaste tree. Otherwise, let’s wrap this up by remembering the following:

  • To keep the purple colors more brilliant, ensure your trees get exposed to as much sunlight as possible.
  • Some trees with purple-colored leaves such as the Crimson King Norway Maple and Crepe Myrtle can be invasive to some regions.
  • Ensure that your Purpleleaf Plum Tree, Sand Cherry, and Helmond Pillar Barberry are safe from curious pets and children as these are toxic.

Based on this list, which trees with purple leaves are you planning to cultivate, and do you have other trees in mind? Let us know in the comments below!

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