Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
California Redbud, Western Redbud
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
The drought tolerance and intense color make western redbud a top notch tree for dry gardens. It is native to the hill country of California, Arizona and Utah where the dry season can result in no rainfall for as long as six months a year. It prefers conditions from the toe of west facing foothill exposures to middle elevations. This prized member of the dry garden is a multi-stemmed tree in the wild, branching off a large underground woody crown. Its distinctive large heart-shaped leaves are often tinted with bronze when they first emerge, turning medium green shortly after. This plant is adapted to such drought that it shows smoky sunset leaf color as early as Augustin habitat, illustrating its early dormancy as a means of withstanding prolonged drought.
This is one of the first trees to bloom in spring. Its branches become encrusted with small fuchsia colored pea-like blossoms, which indicate its presence in the legume family. Immediately after bloom new growth begins. Over summer an abundance of large flat brown pods develop and may remain on the tree for a year or more. Redbud is a species renewed by natural fire, and therefore old decadent plants may be cut back by hard pruning to achieve similar results.
In the wild, western redbud is typically found on gentle slopes with poor soils, which indicates the importance of replicating these conditions in the garden. It is far more sensitive to summer water than its eastern cousins. If provided with irrigation these plants will grow very quickly and produce a beautiful single specimen, but they are known to show greater autumn color in extremely dry conditions.
12 - 9
8 - 10
2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
Full Sun, Partial Sun
10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m (10)
10'-12' / 3.0m - 3.7m (10)
Western United States, California
Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant
Gold, Sienna, Rose
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