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Cercis canadensis var. texensis 'Oaklahoma'

Common Name(s):
Oklahoma redbud
'Texas white redbud' (white flower), 'Oklahoma' (reddish flower), 'Traveller' (weeping)
Shrubs, Trees

Found growing in the wild in 1964 in Oklahoma, this small landscape tree is perfect for most Carolina gardens. ‘Oklahoma’ redbud has spectacular royal purple, pea-like flowers that emerge in early spring before the foliage appears. Perhaps its best trait is the thick glossy leaves that appear to be polished each day. The shiny leaves always draw attention to the tree, even by those unaccustomed to noticing trees.

Grow ‘Oklahoma’ redbud in well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. This beauty is very adaptable in Carolina landscapes and considered by some to be a “must have” small flowering tree. It is excellent for planting in lawns, woodland gardens, or in naturalized areas. Don’t miss an opportunity to dazzle your neighbors with this attractive tree.

There has been much debate over the distinction between Cercis canadensis var. mexicana and Cercis canadensis var. texensis.  Cercis canadensis var. texensis was formerly known as C. reniformis.  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 entire.  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.

Play Value: Wildlife Enhancement

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


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. 


15-20 ft.
Thick, glossy green, heart-shaped leaves
Dark reddish-purple flowers in early spring
Sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil. Water weekly.
15 feet
2-4 in. thick, leathery, glossy, dark green leaves. Thicker cuticle allows for greater drought tolerance than C. canadensis.
play, cpp, small tree, playground, deciduous, showstopper, bees, show stopper, birds, nectar, pollinator, specialized bees, wildlife, showy flowers, woodland gardens, naturalized, children’s garden

NCCES plant id: 1952

Cercis canadensis var. texensis Leaves of C. canadensis var. texensis
Mary PK Burns, CC BY-NC-2.0