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CERCIS chinensis 'Avondale'

Image of Cercis chinensis 'Avondale'

John Rickard

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

CERCIS chinensis 'Avondale'

Plant Common Name

Avondale Redbud, Chinese Redbud

General Description

When 'Avondale' came onto the scene, its small size meant that the beauty of the Chinese redbud would fit spaces and gardens too small for the species. A deciduous shrub or small tree native to China and Japan, Cercis chinensis is found thriving in a wide range of growing conditions. One aspect of its beauty lies in its leaves: rounded hearts that hang gracefully from fine, reddish stems. They are held on the upright gray branches of a vase shaped shrub or multiple-trunk tree.

The gorgeous spring blooms of 'Avondale' verge on pink-violet to purple and are encrusted on one or two year-old twigs like barnacles. They give way to rusty-brown flat pods. Bloom is early, often the only hot color in the very young spring landscape. As the flowers fade, the leaves emerge bronzish, then turn to light green for the summer. In the fall they turn smoky, sunset hues. The only time this plant lacks interest is in full winter dormancy.

Use 'Avondale' for diversity in mild temperate climate landscapes (including the high desert) where it has proven to be quite successful despite heat, cold and poor soils. Smaller stature makes it a good foundation shrub with the bonus of seasonal changes. Integrate it into mixed borders for variations in leaf texture. Above all keep it well in view to enjoy every nuance of its evolution. Situating it in front of a dark evergreen hedge or dark colored building accentuates the drama of viewing the springtime flowers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8'-10' / 2.4m - 3.0m

  • Width

    4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    China, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Hot Pink, Violet

  • Fruit Color

    Sienna, Chocolate

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Orange, Yellow Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • 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

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No