eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis
  • LEAVES: simple, alternate, deciduous; 3-5” diameter, cordate base, acute tip; petioles swollen at leaf-base and node (both ends); leaf folded in half when emerging
  • FLOWER: purplish to pink, pea-shaped; clustered on twigs and stem; flowers before leafing out; tasty in salads
  • FRUIT: legume, 2-4 inches long; flat; persists into winter
  • TWIGS: zigzag, horizontally spreading
  • BARK: scaly, dark, slight purple or red color
  • FORM: small tree, to 30-40 ft; multiple stems, spreading crown
  • HABITAT: well-drained and upland sites; normally an understory species
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Obligate Upland (UPL): Almost never occurs in wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: eastern US
  • USES: ornamental; does not fix nitrogen
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. numerous flat legumes, 2-4 inches long
    2. reniform leaf with cordate base, palmate venation
    3. purplish-to-pink flowers and buds clustered on twigs and stems