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Cercis canadensis

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Common Name: Redbud, Eastern Redbud

Full sun to light shade; medium to moderately dry moisture level; tolerant of a wide range of soils including moderately coarse sandy loams to moderately fine sandy and silty clays and heavier clays; slightly acid to slightly alkaline pH.

12-25 feet height by 10-20 feet spread; red purple to rosy pink flowers in April before the leaves come out; flat, oblong, 2-3 inch long seed pods in early summer which persist until winter.

Growth Rate: Fast. 4-6 feet per year is not uncommon in youth.

Maintenance: Low maintenance. Infrequent disease and insect problems. Suffers dramatically from excessive stress, including lack of water, excessive moisture or injury, and a weakened tree is more susceptible to disease. Keep tree vigorous with regular watering and some fertilization and by pruning out dead branches as needed. Avoid excessive fertilization which may lead tree to stop blooming in spring.

Propagation: Easy from seed. Simplest way is to scratch the seed coat (scarify) and plant outdoors in fall. Self-sown seeds winter easily and produce robust trees. Cuttings are nearly impossible.

Native Region: Statewide

One of the loveliest flowering native trees and makes a charming addition to the woodland garden. Can either be pruned to a single trunk or grown as a multi-trunked tree. Performs best in moderately fertile soils with consistent moisture. An understory tree which grows well and flowers in the shade of taller trees but produces more abundantly in full sun. Attractive when used as a specimen planting or in groupings. Short-lived, averaging less than 50 years of age, usually 20-30 years. Many cultivars available.

Attracts birds and bees. Flower nectar attracts early butterflies in spring.

Redbud, Eastern Redbud - Cercis canadensis 2
Photo Courtesy of John Hilty http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/
Redbud, Eastern Redbud - Cercis canadensis 3
Photo Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center http://www.wildflower.org/