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Eastern redbud

Closeup image of rosy redbud blooms in spring

Eastern redbud

About the redbud tree

Eastern redbud (American redbud) - Cercis canadensis

Identification: Redbuds are attractive, small trees identified by their irregular, vase-shaped form and wide, heart-shaped leaves. Leaves emerge with a reddish tint in spring and turn yellow before dropping in autumn.

Redbuds often grow in the understory where they are sheltered by taller trees. Redbud trees produce a profusion of tiny, rosy flowers in early spring before leaves open, becoming flat, brownish seed pods later in the season. The bark is smooth and gray in color, becoming scaly as trees age. 

Height: 15-30 feet 

Preferences: Full sun to partial shade. Hardiness zones 4-9.

Wildlife value: Redbud trees are an important source of nectar for bees and butterflies in early spring, when there are few other plants blooming. Several species of moth and butterfly larvae use the redbud as a host plant. Bobwhite quail and chickadees will eat redbud seeds. 

Uses: Redbuds are primarily used as a landscaping tree for their beautiful spring blooms and small size. Branches and thin stems have been used for basketry. Redbuds are members of the pea family, and their flower buds are edible. 
Learn about pollinator-friendly landscaping trees