Redbud

Scientific Name: Cercis canadensis

Light: Part Shade to Shade

Zone: 4 to 8

Height:  20 to 35 feet

Width: 20 to 35 feet

Flowers: showy, April to May, pink to lavender

Fruit/Seed: July to December, black pod

Fall Color:  golden yellow

Butterflies: nectar

Birds:   Bobwhite quail and songbirds eat the seeds.

Hummingbird:  Yes

Deer Resistant:  No, Occasionally Severely Damaged

Insects/Pollinators:  Honeybees use the flowers for pollen.

Native: Carroll & all of Maryland

Idea Garden:

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Description

Redbud is easily grown in average well-drained soils.  Part shade is best in the hot climate of Carroll County.  Since this tree does not transplant well, it should be planted when young and left undisturbed.

It is know for its stunning pea-like rose-purple flowers which bloom profusely on bare branches in early spring (March-April) before the foliage emerges.

Hummingbirds utilize eastern redbud for nectar and honeybees use the flowers for pollen. Whitetail deer browse the foliage and twigs during the spring and summer. Squirrels occasionally eat the buds, bark, and seed.  However, for the animals which utilize eastern redbud, it is considered a less desirable or emergency food.

Redbud fixes nitrogen and can be grown with Black Walnuts.

Cultivars/Varieties

‘Alba’  –  white flowers and foliage that lacks any purplish pigmentation as it emerges.

‘Covey’ (Lavender Twist™) – A weeping form that has stiff, contorted, arching branches.

‘Dwarf White’ – White flowers, 10 feet

‘Forest Pansy’ – foliage emerges a vivid burgundy color. As the foliage matures the underside of the leaves remains purple-red and the upperside turns dark green. Flowers are more purple than the species.

‘Hearts of Gold’ – 20 feet, leaves emerge yellow with a red tint and mature to yellow, sometimes a chartreuse green

‘Pinkbud’, ‘Withers Pink Charm’ and ‘Rubye Atkinson’ – Flowers are clear pink.

‘Royal White’ – more cold resistant and larger white flowers that ‘Alba’

‘Silver Cloud’ –  variegated foliage  irregularly blotched and splashed with white. Benefits from shading and a cool location. Does not flower heavily.

ssp. texensis ‘Oklahoma’ – Flowers are a deep wine-red. Leaves are thick, leathery, lustrous and have a wavy margin. Habit is more dense and compact than the species. Not reliably hardy in areas colder than zone 6.

ssp. texensis ‘Traveller’ – A weeping form that forms a mound only 5′ tall and wider. Probably not hardy in areas north of zone 6.

‘Tennessee Pink‘ – Clear pink flowers

Sources:

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

USDA Eastern Redbud

Missouri Botanical Garden Eastern Redbud

White Pine – University of Connecticut Plant Database

Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance – Rutgers

Recommended for Wildlife by

Gardening for the Birds by George Adams

Songbirds – FS613

Twelve Ways to Design a Bird Friendly Garden – Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Landscaping to Attract Birds – Baltimore Bird Club

For the Birds, Butterflies & Hummingbirds:  Creating Inviting Habitats – Virginia Extension

Bringing Nature Home by Tallamy

Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern United States by Dove & Woolridge

Photo Credits

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Nancy Bittler

 

Additional information

Zones

Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8

Light

Part Sun, Shade

Soil

Dry, Loam, Moist

Flower Color

Pink, Purple

Flower Season

Spring

Fruit Season

Fall, Summer, Winter

Native

Carroll, Coast, Mountain, Piedmont

Wildlife Value

Beneficial Insects, Food for Birds, Hummingbird, Nectar

Local Availability

Widely Available

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