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Ruby Falls Redbud Cercis canadensis 'Ruby Falls'

Other Common Name(s):

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

‘Ruby Falls’ redbud is a compact, deciduous tree in the Fabaceae (bean) family. The parent plant is native to eastern and central North America, from North Carolina to east Mexico. 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 weaver’s shuttle used to move thread back and forth on a loom. 

‘Ruby Falls’ grows in a wide range of soils but prefers full sun to partial shade. Allow 3 to 6 feet of space. It does not transplant well, so it should be planted young and left undisturbed. Pruning should be done after the tree has flowered to avoid removing the current season’s flowers.  

Noted for its unique weeping habit, ‘Ruby Falls’ has dark maroon-red, heart -shaped leaves and profuse, pea-like, dark rose flowers that arrive before the foliage on bright red stems. During the latter part of the summer, the leaves turn from burgundy to green. 

‘Ruby Falls’ is appropriate in most landscape locations, but the small stature of this tree makes it ideal for small gardens. Use it as a specimen or accent, in small groups or as a barrier, and as a small shade tree.

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

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 landscape:
Paul J Ciener Botanical Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Ruby Falls’
‘Ruby Falls’
Tags:
#weeping#hardy#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#small spaces#wildlife plant#nectar plant#low maintenance#winter interest#flowering tree#year-round interest#specialized bees#cpp#deer browsing plant#deer resistant#showstopper#long bloom time#long lifespan#pollinator plant#deciduous tree#compact habit#bird friendly#winter garden#bee friendly#compact#heart-shaped leaves
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Ruby Falls’
‘Ruby Falls’
Tags:
#weeping#hardy#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#small spaces#wildlife plant#nectar plant#low maintenance#winter interest#flowering tree#year-round interest#specialized bees#cpp#deer browsing plant#deer resistant#showstopper#long bloom time#long lifespan#pollinator plant#deciduous tree#compact habit#bird friendly#winter garden#bee friendly#compact#heart-shaped leaves
  • 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. Members of the genus Cercis support the specialized bee, Habropoda laboriosa.
    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