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Eastern Redbud

Scientific Name

Cercis canadensis

Origin

Found throughout the eastern United States and westward into Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and northeastern New Mexico.

Habitat

Found in hardwood forests as an understory tree. Tends to be found in areas underlain by limestone along moist valleys and on slopes.     

Growth Nature

A relatively small tree, the redbud generally tops out at a height of about 20 to 30 ft. and has a spread of about 25 to 35 ft.  Normally can be found as an understory tree in hardwood forested areas, the redbud grows best where there is partial shade available.  The redbud has a short trunk and branches out in all direction.

Points of Interest

  • The red roots of the tree were used by early settlers to make a red dye.

  • Easily recognized by the early spring blooming of highly showy magenta colored buds.  Often planted as an ornamental tree because of this spring color.

  • Grow at a moderate rate of about 7 to 10 ft. in about 5 to 6 years.

  • Leaves are recognizable by their heart shape and seed pods hang off the tree throughout the winter.

  • Wood has some commercial value.

  • Redbud flowers are considered edible.   The flowers are said to have a nutty flavor, and are used in to make pancakes, fritters and as a garnish on salads.

  • The abundance of seed pods produced by the tree seem to only be utilized by a few species of birds.