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Cercis canadensis var. mexicana

Common Name(s):
Mexican redbud
Categories:
Shrubs, Trees
Comment:

Sometimes listed as C. mexicana or C. canadensis ssp. mexicana.


There has been much debate over the distinction between Cercis canadensis var. mexicana and Cercis canadensis var. texensis. Morphologically, the two varieties are very similar and are often distinguished from one another based on geographic distribution. More often than not, the leaf blade of C. canadensis var. mexicana exhibits an undulate margin where as the leaf blade of Cercis canadensis var. texensis is typically flat. However, the geographic overlap of these characteristics make the taxonomic separation of these two varieties difficult to verify, as described by Fritsch et al. (2009).  

Wildlife Value:  The flowers provide nectar for bees and once pollinated form leguminous pods, the seed can be consumed by birds. Members of the genus Cercis support the following specialized bee: Habropoda laboriosa.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: This tree can suffer from damage caused by deer.  

References:

Fritsch, P. W., Larson, K. W., & Schiller, A. M. 2009. Taxonomic implications of morphological variation in Cercis canadensis (Fabaceae) from Mexico and adjacent parts of Texas. Systematic Botany. 34: 510 – 520. 

 

Height:
15-25 ft.
Flower:
Pinkish-purple, pea-like flowers in clusters in early spring.
Zones:
6-9
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
Sun to partial shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil but will tolerate a range of soil types
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Broadly rounded; dense; compact; stems are thicker and more rigid than species
Growth Rate:
Moderate
Leaf:
2-6 in. alternate, simple, dark green, leathery leaves with undulating margins; develops glossy appearance with age. Thicker cuticle allows for greater drought tolerance than C. canadensis.
Tags:
nectar, showy flowers, deciduous, bees, show stopper, showstopper, edible, pollinator, specialized bees, wildlife

NCCES plant id: 1950

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana Flowers of C. canadensis var. mexicana
Dan Mullen, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Cercis canadensis var. mexicana Cercis canadensis var. mexicana
David Roberts, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0