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Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

Common Name(s):
Eastern redbud, Forest pansy redbud

A low maintenance, ornamental flowering deciduous tree in the bean (Fabaceae) family. 'Forest Pansy' is a purple-leaved cultivar that has attractive red-orange fall color. It is often multitrunked and used as an understory tree.  The showy flowers appear in early spring and make excellent additions to cut arrangements.  Works well planted in groups, near patios or hardscapes, along lawns, in woodland gardens, or behind shrub boarders.  Eastern redbud is native to eastern and central North America. It is often found in woodlands, thickets, and dotted along rocky stream beds.

Seasons of Interest:

    Bloom: Spring, March-April  Foliage: Fall

Wildlife Value: Nectar attracts hummingbirds.  This tree is resistant to damage by deer.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Insect pests include Japanese beetles, tree hoppers, leaf hoppers, caterpillars, borers, webworms, and scale. Canker can be a significant disease problem. Verticillium wilt, dieback, leaf spots, mildew, and blights sometimes occur. Regular maintenace through proper watering and fertilization and by pruning out dead branches as needed will mitigate most of these problems.

20-30 ft.
Extremely showy rosy-pink-purple pea-like flowers explode from bare twigs in early spring. Fruits follow and are flattened dry bean pods (to 2-4” long) that mature to brown in summer. Each pod has 6-12 seeds. Pods may remain on the tree into winter.
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Part shade is best in hot summer climates. Performs best in moderately fertile soils with regular and consistent moisture. Avoid wet or poorly drained soils but does tolerate clay and being planted near black walnut trees. It does not transplant well, so plant it when young and plan not to disturb it.
Rounded crown
25-35 ft.
Leaves are purplish-red, alternate, simple, cordate, broadly ovate to nearly orbicular, and 3-5” across. They have a somewhat papery texture and have a short point at the tip. Leaves turn red to orange in the fall.
flowering tree, black walnut, play, playground, hummingbirds, red foliage, lawns, purple foliage, hardscape, cut flowers, deer resistant, showy flowers, deciduous, fall color, wildlife, children’s garden, clay soil, cpp, shrub boarder, patio, woodland, nectar, low maintenance, fall interest

NCCES plant id: 3206

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' Form
Tim Sheerman-Chase, CC BY - 2.0
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' Fall leaf color
Jonathan Billinger, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' Flowers
David J. Stang, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' Leaf close up
David J. Stang, CC BY-SA - 4.0