Hey nature lovers! Get ready for a wild adventure through a captivating array of trees with heart shaped leaves.
Imagine you are strolling in your garden and you are surrounded by trees that whisper sweet nothings with their foliage. From the Western Redbud to the Handkerchief Tree, these beauties are ready to woo you with their natural charm.
In this article, I will show you all these botanical marvels as well as their scientific names. If you’re in a little hurry, you can quickly jump to a section by clicking on it in the table of contents.
Trees With Heart-Shaped Leaves (With Local and Scientific Names)
Below is the list of my top picks, that carries heart-shaped leaves accompanied by their scientific names. Enjoy!
Western Redbud (Cercis Canadensis)
The Redbud is a deciduous tree that bears red heart-shaped leaves and pink flowers. It is native to Eastern North America.
The leaves are medium-sized, which ranges from 3-5 inches in length. They have a glossy, deep green color.
During springtime, Redbud trees adorn themselves with clusters of vibrant pink or purple flowers that enhance their visual appeal and beauty.
This tree is often valued by gardeners and backyard owners for its aesthetics and its symbolic meaning across different cultures.
Silver Linden (Tilia Tomentosa)
This tree has large heart-shaped leaves. In the Uk, it is known as Silver lime. If you notice it, you will see a sucker growth around its base.
Their leaves have an Oblique base, which means one side is larger than the other side. It is called silver linden because it has a Silvery white pubescence underneath.
One feature that is common to all Tilia is that the fruits are held underneath the downy pubescent bract.
Northern Catalpa (Catalpa Speciosa)
Northern Catalpa is native to Indiana. It has heart-shaped leaves and a cluster of flowers that can add a touch of allure to any scenery.
The leaves are quite large, even my hand felt smaller in front of it. This species has quite an unusual leaf arrangement which is called Whirled. One can see a whirl of leaves at one location on the stem.
This tree bears fruit which is a very long pod, that made me think of a bean, despite having no relationship with the legume family.
The wood is valued for its rot-resistant properties and is often used for fence posts.
The white tubular flowers of the northern catalpa are designed with various eye-catching colors on the insides of the tubes.
In the parks, some gardeners often plant this tree for ornamental purposes.
Yellow Catalpa (Catalpa Ovata)
Catalpa Ovata, also known as Chinese Catalpa, is a tree with heart-shaped leaves and seed pods. It is native to China, as you can tell from its name.
Their heart-shaped leaves consist of three lobes and are dark green. It blooms usually in July or August.
These trees are also cultivated in Europe and North America, despite being native to China.
Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata)
It is also commonly referred to as the dove tree, Pocket handkerchief tree, or ghost tree. When you see the beautiful flowers of this tree, you will find the reasons for all these interesting names.
It is a deciduous shade tree that is originally from China. It has large heart-shaped leaves but it is known for its white bracts. In the spring you can see the bracts beneath the foliage.
The flowers of the handkerchief tree are small, but it is the bracts that surround it that present a great show. That is why garden owners cherish it for its visual appeal.
Caucasian Lime (Tilia × euchlora)
Also called Caucasian linden or Crimean linden. It has large heart-shaped dark green leaves, which turn yellow in fall. This makes Caucasian lime a great tree for shade.
In the spring they give rise to white creamy flowers. Being rich in nectar the flowers attract bees. This tree shows a sucker growth from the base.
It is a hybrid of two trees, T.dasystyla and T.cordata, and is often loved by lawn owners for its shade.
White Mulberry (Morus Alba)
White Mulberry is native to Indiana. It was first introduced in the area, mainly for fruit production, and as a feedstock for silkworms.
However, the latter idea didn’t work very well, the species spread across the landscape because its fruits are highly favored by birds.
White Mulberry has heart-shaped leaves with an alternate arrangement. It produces fruit in abundance that we eat and is also relished by birds.
This species usually grows near fencerows, hedgerows, and other similar waste areas.
Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa)
The Sacred Fig has heart-shaped leaves with a pointed tip and a smooth and light green surface. This tree provides a cool shade, thanks to its widespread branches
Its unique ariel roots hang down from the branches and finally reach the ground, creating a secondary trunk.
It is known for its religious and cultural significance in various Asian countries. That is why it is commonly found near temples and monasteries.
Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)
Southern Catalpa is native to the southern United States. It has big heart-shaped leaves.
However, it is known for its rot-resistant wood. It is the second most rot-resistant wood in the United States.
Catalpa is usually used as a garden and street tree. It is easy to grow in moderate soil. You can see this tree in moist soils, like on the bank of a river.
One downside of this tree is that its irregular shape may not give a nice look to your landscape. It’s randomly spreading and crooked branches can be unattractive to you.
American Basswood (Tilia americana)
American Basswood is a large tree that is often found in moist areas. You can identify it by its heart shaped-leaves.
We have discussed other trees with heart shaped leaves but in the basswood, we have toothed margins at the edges of the leaves.
In most cases, it will have sprouts originating from the base and I have heard that up to 7-8 can emerge from one basswood stump.
Basswood is a great shading tree and its flowers are preferred by bees, that is why I would highly recommend it for your backyard.
Italian Alder (Alnus cordata)
Italian Alder is a deciduous tree that is commonly seen in the mountains of Corsica and is famous for its narrow heart-shaped leaves and the ability to grow in wet and waterlogged areas.
The bark of Italian Alder is somewhat grayish-brown in color and gives rise to small cone-like fruits that contain seeds. These trees are frequently used in landscaping and reforestation projects.
Eastern Redbud (Cercis occidentalis ‘Flame Thrower’)
Eastern Redbud also possesses heart-shaped leaves, similar to its western counterpart. But there are some key differences that you should keep in mind, which I have listed down in the table below.
Eastern redbud has slightly large leaves and also you can notice that its flowers are not as colorful like that of western redbud.
One negative aspect of the redbud trees is that they can easily get damaged by pests. If you are planning to have them in your garden, spray the trees with fungicide solution once a year.
|Western Redbud||Eastern Redbud|
|Height||10 to 15 feet||20 to 30 feet|
|Width||10′ to 15′||20′ to 30′|
|Growth Rate||Medium||10 to 15 feet|
Turkish Hazel (Corylus color)
Turkish hazel is a beautiful tree with heart-shaped leaves and edible nuts. Unlike other species of hazelnut, it does not sucker and has a single trunk.
They have a rough quirky bark and can attain a height of up to 80 feet.
The nuts are produced in a cluster and are fairly hard to get out of the shell. That is why, it is not desirable for harvesters.
Turkish hazel is used as a non-suckering rootstock for grafting other varieties.
Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)
It is evident from the name heartleaf philodendron that it has dark-green heart-shaped leaves. It is native to Central America and the West Indies.
It is a robust growing plant and requires lower to medium light. One cool thing about this plant is that it is a low-maintenance house plant.
It tends to climb. You can use a stick or a totem pole for it to climb. You can also place it in a hanging basket.
The best use of Tilia cordata is as a shade tree in hot summer when the sun is stronger. The broad leaves of the tree provide a nice shade.
European Linden: (Tilia Europaea)
European linden is a deciduous tree that is native to Europe. The heart-shaped leaves of these trees are alternatively arranged along the branches.
This tree is famous for its fragrant flower which is yellowish-white in color. The flowers are clustered together and emit a lovely fragrance.
The European linden is also treasured for its timber, which is fine-grained, and rather smooth. It is used for making furniture, and some musical instruments.
Quaking Aspen Tree (Populus tremuloides)
Quaking Aspen is a member of the Cottonwood family and is one of the smallest in its family. The biggest species in this family can typically attain a height of 50-60 feet.
The leaves are small and can be an inch and a half to two inches. The leaves are heart-shaped with a green color on top and somewhat silvery underneath. It is also blessed with a gorgeous creamy white bark with black markings on it.
The leaves shimmer back and forth in the breeze and it makes a beautiful sound that you can sometimes hear with quaking aspens.
That is why the natives named this plant a Noisy Leaf. I also heard someone calling it a Woman’s Tongue. I don’t know why but you can confirm that for me in the comments section below.
It is known as one of the most widespread trees in North America. It has this unique ability to regenerate itself from the suckers that the aspen puts from its root system.
Groups of Aspens that share the same genetics are referred to as clones. A clone may last from hundreds of years to even sometimes thousands of years.
Note: I would not recommend this tree for landscaping, because the root system is so extensive that it will likely poke holes in your septic system.
Foxglove Tree or princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
It is called the foxglove tree because of its beautiful upright-held panicles with foxglove. You can enjoy its stunning purple flowers in late April or early May.
The leaves are huge heart-shaped and can grow big like an umbrella. Garden owners grow these trees just for the sake of their big leaves.
A lot of people confuse this tree with jacarandas because of its purple flowers. If you are living in England remember that jacarandas don’t grow here.
I call it my dead stick tree. Because when planted, after the winter their stem would die off like a bamboo cane.
Note: Foxgloves do not like to be kept too wet at the roots, particularly when they are young. So you can use a plastic protector around. It will give the plant protection, especially if you have a frosty cold winter.
Black Mulberry (Morus nigra)
Another tree that has heart-shaped leaves is the black mulberry. It is native to southwest Asia. But nowadays its natural range is unknown because of its waste cultivation.
Its fruit is a delicious cluster of small drupes that gives you a mix of sweet and tart flavors.
Black mulberry can be confused with other similar species but you can identify it by the uniformly hairy lower surface of its leaves.
Note: the downside of this tree is that it creates a lot of mess, especially when planted near a patio or sitting area. Also, it attracts a lot of pests.
Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)
Katsura is another tree on the list that has heart-shaped leaves. It is one of the few trees that has a fragrance when it is in its fall color. It smells like cotton candy.
Katsura has a light tannish bark that develops stripes when it ages. It is the best tree for a large park or a home landscape.
One good thing about this tree is that it rarely attracts serious diseases and insects. Hower katsura can get a sun scolding if it isn’t adequately moistened.
Small Leaved Lime (Tilia cordata)
It is commonly known as little leaf linden and is a large deciduous tree that is quite popular in big landscapes.
Small Leaved Lime is a tall tree with heart shaped leaves and is capable of growing flowers that are attractive to bees. The honey that comes from this species is in fact considered more nutritional than other species.
It shares a remarkably similar appearance to the American basswood tree. The main distinction between the two trees is that small-leaved linden has smaller foliage.
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Southern Magnolia is mostly found in the southeast of the United States. has alternatively arranged heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are evergreen and have a coppery color pubescent on the back side.
This tree can be low branching. The flowers first appear in spring but will continue to throw them throughout the summer.
The Southern Magnolia you see in a home landscape is more attractive than that in the wild one. So it is essential to choose cultivars that have the size, flowering capacity, and colors you want for the backyard.
Symbolic and Cultural Significance of Trees with Heart Shaped Leaves
Heart-shaped leaves carry a significant and symbolic meaning across different cultures. These trees not only fascinate us with their beauty. But they also arouse emotions of love and affection in us.
In many cultures across the world, the heart-shaped leaves are regarded as a symbol of love and devotion. The leaves and flowers of all these trees portray a strong connection between people. That is why you will see these trees in romantic settings, like parks, and wedding venues.
Besides love and affection, in some cultures, the heart-shaped leaves are considered to bring good luck and prosperity to households.
People also prefer to hang the branches or leaves from these trees in their homes to invite positive energy.
Moreover, trees with heart-shaped leaves also hold a significant place in folklore and traditions, such as herbal remedies and a symbol of eternal love.
What type of tree has large heart-shaped leaves and produces nuts?
The Chestnut tree has large heart-shaped leaves and produces nuts. The leaves of this tree are alternately arranged on the branches and can easily grow up to several inches in length. It is commonly found in temperate regions and prefers well-drained soils and moderate climates.
What are some evergreen trees with heart-shaped Leaves?
Some evergreen trees with heart-shaped leaves are:
1. Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
This tree is native to the southeastern United States. It has dark green leaves that are carved into a heart-shaped. The leaves have a lovely silver underside.
2. Japanese Cleyera (Ternstroemia gymnanthera)
the Japanese Cleyera is native to East Asia. This evergreen tree produces heart-shaped, glossy leaves. It is usually grown as a hedge or screen plant.
3. Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)
This last one is not a tree, but it is a tropical plant that is known for its heart-shaped leaves and colorful flowers. It is a houseplant and can that likes to grow in humid environments.
What plant has pointed heart-shaped leaves?
Arrowhead Plant or Arrowhead Vine plant has pointed heart-shaped leaves. The scientific name for this plant is Syngonium podophyllum. This indoor plant requires low maintenance and can be grown as a potted plant.
I hope you find this journey through the world of trees with heart shaped leaves beautiful.
The leaf shape of these botanical wonders represents the power of love and relationships in our lives. Planting them in your garden is definitely worthwhile.
got any questions regarding this topic? Hit me in the comment section below.