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Pata de Vaca Cercis occidentalis

Description

Synonomus with Cercis orbiculata. A flowering ornamental small tree or large shrub with many branches in the Fabaceae family.  As the common name implies it is native to California and Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. In the wild, plants generally appear singlely but they can form groups or thickets in riparian areas. It has showy flowers that appear on bare stems in early spring. It works well planted at the back of a shrub border, as an understory tree in a woodland garden, or as a screen near a patio.  It is able to tolerate intermitant flooding (for 1-3 months) during the growing season.  Seeds require scarifciation to germinate as the seeds are adapted to prolonged periods of dryness and cold due to an impervious seed coat and a dormant embryo.

Seasons of Interest:

      Bloom: Spring, April-May

Wildlife Value: Nectar attracts pollinators such as butterflies, bumble bees, and orchard mason bees.  Provides nesting materials for specalized bees. The leguminous seed pods, are 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: Susceptible to caterpillars and scales. Crown rot, phytophthora and root rot can also be a problem. It is resistant to Armillaria. This tree can suffer from damage caused by deer.  

 

 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#birds#small tree#pollinators#drought tolerant#nectar plant#patio#playground#wet sites#flooding#specialized bees#nesting#hardscape#screens#children's garden
Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#birds#small tree#pollinators#drought tolerant#nectar plant#patio#playground#wet sites#flooding#specialized bees#nesting#hardscape#screens#children's garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cercis
    Species:
    californica
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil