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Cercis canadensis

Eastern Redbud

Leafless horizontal branches are smothered in small deep pink flowers in early spring. Its early nectar and pollen attracts a large number of specialized native bees and butterflies such as elfins. Red-purple, pea-shaped seedpods follow the flowers. The seedpods provide food for doves, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, quail and other birds. The heart-shaped leaves become a quilt of yellow and green in fall.

Benefits

Blooms very early, use branches in flower arrangements
Nectar and pollen attracts butterflies and other pollinators
Seeds in small pea-pods provide food for birds
Good fall color
Lovely as a single or multi-trunked tree

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Easy to grow in full sun or part shade. Adapts to many soils but prefers moist, well-drained sites. Does not grow well in poorly drained soil. Plant as a specimen tree or in groups.


Height
20-30 Feet

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Spread
25-35 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

Native Range

Moist woods and hedgerows; southeastern New York to Pennsylvania, Michigan, and eastern Nebraska, south to northern Mexico and Florida.

Native Trivia

Eastern redbud has been used as an ornamental tree since 1641. Trees begin bearing pods when they reach 5 years of age with heavy seedpod production every other year. The flowers are edible; they have a slightly sour, pea-like flavor, and can be used as a garnish in salads.


"This tree is a great early pollen source for my bee and butterfly friends."

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Deciduous Trees
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Sun
Soil
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Moist
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Mammals
Songbirds
Bloom Time
Early Spring
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Songbird
Native Habitat
Forest
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Accent
Cut or dried flower
Mass plant
Meadow
Specimen
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin