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Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis 'Ruby Falls'

Other Common Name(s):

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

Noted for its unique weeping habit, Ruby Falls Redbud  is a compact, deciduous tree with profuse, pea-like, dark rose flowers that arrive before the foliage on bright red stems.  This cultivar results from the work done at North Carolina State University.  It is a second generation descendant (2010) from a cross between Cercis canadensis 'Covey' which is a weeping variety, and 'Forest Pansy' which has purple foliage. 

The genus name Cercis comes from the Greek word kerkis which means weaver's shuffle, referring to the fact that the seed pod resembles the size and shape of a weavers shuttle used to more thread back and forth on a loom.  Dark maroon-red, heart shaped leaves are held on pendulous branches.  During the latter part of the summer, the leaves turn from burgundy to green.  The small stature of this tree makes it ideal for small gardens.

It does not transplant well.  It should be planted young and left undisturbed.  Pruning should be done after the tree has flowered in order to avoid removing the current season flowers.  

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: Although not typical, this tree can suffer from damage caused by deer.  It is relatively pest free.  Disease issues can include canker, dieback, leaf spot, mildew, blight and verticillium wilt.  

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.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Paul J Ciener Botanical Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Ruby Falls’
‘Ruby Falls’
Tags:
#weeping#hardy#showy flowers#deciduous#small spaces#wildlife plant#showy#tree#nectar plant#winter interest#year-round interest#specialized bees#cpp#deer resistant#weeping tree#showstopper#long bloom time#long lifespan#pollinator plant#deciduous tree#compact habit#bird friendly#winter garden#bee friendly#broadleaf#compact
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Ruby Falls’
‘Ruby Falls’
Tags:
#weeping#hardy#showy flowers#deciduous#small spaces#wildlife plant#showy#tree#nectar plant#winter interest#year-round interest#specialized bees#cpp#deer resistant#weeping tree#showstopper#long bloom time#long lifespan#pollinator plant#deciduous tree#compact habit#bird friendly#winter garden#bee friendly#broadleaf#compact
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cercis
    Species:
    canadensis
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Ornamental
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers provide nectar for bees and once pollinated form leguminous pods, the seed can be consumed by birds. Hummingbirds and butterflies are also attracted.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Screening
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Will tolerate clay soil, deer tolerant, black walnut tolerant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 5 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Cascading
    Rounded
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    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
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a flat, oblong legume that can grow to up to 3". They ripen in the fall and can last through the winter months.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Profuse, pea-like, dark rose flowers that arrive before the foliage on bright red stems
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Velvety
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dark maroon-red, heart shaped leaves are held on pendulous branches. During summer the leaves turn from burgundy to green in late summer.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    A multi-stemmed
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Near Septic
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Flowering Tree
    Foundation Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer