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CERCIS canadensis

Image of Cercis canadensis

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

CERCIS canadensis

Plant Common Name

Eastern Redbud

General Description

This is certainly one of the most beautiful of the North American deciduous trees. Eastern redbud is a medium-sized tree that is native to eastern and central North America. Prized as both a specimen tree and small shade tree, it may be multi-stemmed or single-trunked and has a broad, rounded or spreading canopy.

Eastern redbud has very distinctive large, heart-shaped leaves that are often tinted with purple when they first emerge, turn medium green shortly after and then yellow in fall. In spring, before the leaves emerge, its brown branches become covered with clusters of small, sweetpea-like flowers of purple-red, pink or white. These are followed by dark brown seed pods that persist well after the leaves fall in autumn. The popular cultivar 'Forest Pansy' sports attractive dark purple-green foliage all season.

Grow this fine tree in sites with full to partial sun and fertile, well-drained but evenly moist soil. It is naturally found growing in uplands and lowlands and is well adapted to a wide range of soil types. It can also grow in shadier sites but will not develop a full robust canopy in an understory. It is a fine small shade tree for naturalistic landscapes as well as more formal gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    25'-30' / 7.6m - 9.1m

  • Width

    25'-30' / 7.6m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Southwestern United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple, Pink, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Chocolate

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Purple, Plum

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Yellow Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes