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Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

Phonetic Spelling
SER-sis kan-ah-DEN-sis
Description

Eastern redbud is a low maintenance, ornamental, flowering, deciduous tree in the Fabaceae (bean) family that is native to central and eastern North America. It is often found in woodlands and thickets or dotted along rocky stream beds. 'Forest Pansy' is a purple-leaved cultivar that has an attractive red-orange fall color. The cultivar name arises from its attractive pansy-like flowers. 

‘Forest Pansy’ grows best in average soil in full sun or part shade though it can withstand heavy clay soils. In areas that experience hot summers, some afternoon shade is appreciated. Provide regular moisture, but avoid areas where good drainage is not present. Although often multitrunked and used as an understory tree, it can be pruned or trained to be single trunked. Choosing a permanent location for this tree is crucial, as it does not do well when transplanted.

The showy flowers appear in early spring and make excellent additions to cut arrangements.  The tree works well in the landscape when planted in groups, near patios or hardscapes, along lawns, in woodland gardens, or behind shrub borders.  This small tree is resistant to browsing by deer and can be planted near black walnut trees.

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

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Cercis canadensis.

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See this plant in the following landscapes:
Backyard Respite Landscape Border Landscape Pinewild County Club, Moore County Hydrangeas in the Garden Woodland Backyard Garden Walk Driveway Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#wildlife plant#nectar plant#cut flowers#colorful leaves#colorful#low maintenance#fall interest#understory tree#flowering tree#playground#attracts squirrels#hardscape#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden#weak wood#edible fruits#cutting garden#pollinator plant#short lifespan#patio planting#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#fall color red#fall color orange#butterfly friendly#fall color purple#black walnut toxicity tolerant#shrub borders#woodland garden#cutting#lawn planting
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#wildlife plant#nectar plant#cut flowers#colorful leaves#colorful#low maintenance#fall interest#understory tree#flowering tree#playground#attracts squirrels#hardscape#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden#weak wood#edible fruits#cutting garden#pollinator plant#short lifespan#patio planting#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#fall color red#fall color orange#butterfly friendly#fall color purple#black walnut toxicity tolerant#shrub borders#woodland garden#cutting#lawn planting
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cercis
    Species:
    canadensis
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The bark was boiled and used by Native Americans to treat whooping cough. The bark was also used as an astringent to treat dysentery. The inner bark and roots were used for vomiting, fevers and congestion. The flowers were fried and used as a food source.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and central North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators are attracted to the flower nectar. The seeds are a food source for squirrels, songbirds and quail.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 25 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are followed by 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.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Extremely showy rosy-pink-purple pea-like flowers explode from bare twigs in early spring before the trees leaf out. They bloom in clusters of up to 10 flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Feel:
    Papery
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Orbicular
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Shimmering reddish/purple young foliage will fade in the late spring heat. The 2-4" leaves have a somewhat papery texture and a short point at the tip. Veins on the underside of the leaves are a deep maroon and the contrast to the light gray/green leaves is stunning. Leaves turn red to orange or purple in the fall, providing a beautiful show.
  • Bark:
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark is thin and can be damaged easily. They can droop as the tree grows and therefore may require trimming to maintain canopy clearance.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Eastern redbud is often multi-trunked.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Small groups
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Understory Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Problems:
    Weak Wood