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Cercis canadensis

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Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: low, medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich

Height: 15'-20'

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: purple, pink, lilac

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts butterflies, edible, fall interest, fragrant flowers, showy fruit

Flowers of Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)
  • Flowers of Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)
  • Flowers of Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)
  • Foliage of Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)
  • Foliage of Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

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Description

Cercis canadensis

Also known as:

eastern redbud

,

redbud

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Eastern redbud is one of the classic eastern, spring blooming flowering trees. It blooms in early spring at the same time as the dogwoods. It is known for its profusion of pink, pea-like flowers that emerge in tight clusters directly from the bare stems, branches and even the older trunks, and well before any foliage. The trees have an open, even tortured shape, with a rather flat crown, and are reminiscent of trees often portrayed in Japanese, and Chinese paintings. By mid to late spring the redbud will produce seeds contained in stringbean-like pods that turn from green, to red, to brown as they ripen. The soft green, heart-shaped leaves turn to brilliant yellow in fall.

Cultivation

Easy to grow in average soil and light conditions, it is important for it to be placed in well drained soil, for it does not like having wet feet. Cercis canadensis is moderately drought tolerant and does very well in urban settings or in full sun. It blooms in early spring, March in the south to early May up north. Zones 5-8.

Propagation

Propagate from freshly collected seeds in fall. Stored seeds will need to be cold stratified in a refrigerator for up to two months before spring planting.

Additional Notes

Redbud flowers, flower buds, seed pods, seeds and young stems are edible. Flowers and buds are sour and can be eaten raw, added to salads and fruit salads, or cooked in pancakes or baked deserts. Young seed pods may be boiled or sauteed, much in the same preparation as stringbeans. Mature seeds can be roasted. Young stems have been used to season wild game.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: NJ
  • Salvage Restricted: AZ
  • Special Concern: CT

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Fabales
Family Fabaceae Pea family
Genus Cercis redbud
Species Cercis canadensis eastern redbud