Redbud

 Redbud  (Cercis canadensis var. texensis)

Redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis)

Redbud
Cercis canadensis var. texensis
 
(SER-sis ka-na-DEN-sis teck-SEN-sis)

Oklahoma Redbud, Texas Redbud, Texas Whitebud

Family
Leguminosae

Description
A heavily flowering, multi-stemmed native tree that can grow up to 40’ tall and wide

Plant habit
Small to medium tree.  Horizontal branching forms an irregularly rounded crown

Landscape use
Plant as a showy specimen tree, or group for a dramatic flowering screen.  Excellent planted along edges of woodland gardens

Average mature size
25’ tall x 25’ wide

Growth rate
Moderate to fast.  Relatively short life span (average 20-25 years)

Sun exposure
Sun to part sun/shade; prefers afternoon shade

Soil requirements
Adaptable to a wide range of soils

Water requirements
Easy to grow in any well-drained soil.  Drought resistant once established, but responds to regular watering

Heat tolerance
Moderate to high

Foliage
Deciduous, large, leathery, heart shaped, glossy leaves that emerge after flowering.  Foliage may be browsed by whitetail deer,
Flowers
Clusters of small pink, lavender or white flowers bloom along the branches and trunk prior to leaf emergence, blooms last longer than other spring flowering trees

Blooming period
Early spring

Bark
Thin and easily damaged; mulch to the drip line to prevent damage, branching pattern provides an interesting winter silhouette

Fruit characteristics
Seeds are an attractive food source to several bird species

Pests and disease
Few serious, but susceptible to borers, leaf rollers and fungal leaf spot

Other
Varieties interbreed; there are more hybrids than pure forms; leaf shape, color and flower color vary
‘Oklahoma,’ ‘Texas Whitebud’ and ‘Forest Pansy’

“Of all the spring flowering trees grown on calcareous soils, redbuds (Cercis) are the most cherished.” – Scott Ogden, Gardening Success with Difficult Soils.