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CERCIS chinensis

Image of Cercis chinensis

Felder Rushing

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

CERCIS chinensis

Plant Common Name

Chinese Redbud

General Description

Larger in leaf and flower than eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), this Chinese native makes a beautiful shrub or small tree for sun or light shade. The bright purple-pink pea-flowers cluster along the upright gray branches in mid-spring, before the large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves emerge. Abundant green seedpods follow the flowers, maturing to brown. The leaves turn dull yellow in fall.

Less cold hardy than eastern redbud, Cercis chinensis shares its preference for well-drained, acidic to slightly alkaline soil. Heat tolerant, it has proven its mettle in Southwest and Southeast United States. Its bold handsome foliage, showy flowers, and relatively compact habit make it an excellent candidate for foundation plantings and mixed borders. Look for the white-flowered 'Alba' and the shrubby cerise-flowered 'Avondale.'

The edible flowers of this plant are excellent for spicing up salads.

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, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6'-20' / 1.8m - 6.1m

  • Width

    5'-15' / 1.5m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • 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, Pink, Violet

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Chocolate

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Sea Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    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

    Yes

  • 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

    Yes