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Cercis canadensis var. canadensis is often confused with:
Cercis chinensis Cercis chinensis
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Cornus florida Cornus florida
Acer rubrum Acer rubrum
Tilia americana Tilia americana
Cercis canadensis var. canadensis has some common insect problems:
Caterpillars Found on Flowers and Foliage
Fall Webworm
Redbud Leaffolder
Cercis canadensis var. canadensis has some other problems:
White-Tailed Deer

Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis var. canadensis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SER-sis kan-ah-DEN-sis vah-RYE-eh-tee kan-ah-DEN-sis
Description

Cercis canadensis var. canadensis or eastern redbud is a native to North Carolina, usually found as an understory tree in mixed forests as well as along streams, river banks, woodland edges and open woodlands.  The genus name Cercis comes from the Greek word kerkis which means weaver's shuttle, 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. 

It grows best in moist, well-drained soil in part shade to part sun.   However, the eastern redbud has proven to be very adaptable to different soils, full sun, and dry areas. If grown in wet soils it is prone to root rot.

Its flowers bloom early in the spring, before the leaves emerge.  The flower can range from pink/purple to dark rose/purple and occasionally white.

The eastern redbud is most well known for its beautiful flowers early in the spring. The heart-shaped leaves and zigzagging young stems give it a distinct appearance among trees. It is a great choice as a small tree for tight spaces.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Wet sites can lead to root rot.  This variety is relatively short-lived.  Insects that may damage the plant include caterpillars, web worms, moths and leaf folder.

See these other varieties:

References:

Dirr, M.A., (1998), Manual of Woody Landscape Plants Fifth Edition, pgs 253-259.

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ceca4

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:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeping#purple#gold#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#understory#small spaces#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#nectar plant#showy leaves#shelter#understory tree#playground#specialized bees#food source#cpp#low flammability#children's garden#native garden#fire resistant#cold tolerant#pollinator plant#short lifespan#food source summer#deciduous tree#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#clay soils tolerant#native#food source hard mast fruit#Piedmont Mountains FACU#bee friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeping#purple#gold#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#understory#small spaces#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#nectar plant#showy leaves#shelter#understory tree#playground#specialized bees#food source#cpp#low flammability#children's garden#native garden#fire resistant#cold tolerant#pollinator plant#short lifespan#food source summer#deciduous tree#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#clay soils tolerant#native#food source hard mast fruit#Piedmont Mountains FACU#bee friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cercis
    Species:
    canadensis var. canadensis
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and Central North America
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers provide nectar for bees and once pollinated form leguminous pods, the seed can be consumed by birds. Leaf cutter bees use the leaves to line their nests. Members of the genus Cercis support the following specialized bee: Habropoda laboriosa. Butterflies, moths, insects and birds browse the plant.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Colorful
    Screening
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
    Edibility:
    This plant is a member of Fabaceae, the same family that peas belong to. Some parts of this plant are edible, for example, the flowers taste like peas and make an excellent addition to a spring salad. It is said that people in the Appalachian Mountains use young stems to season venison while cooking.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    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:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are small, flattened pods with small flat seeds. They range from 2-3 in. pods that are borne in clusters. Displays from June to November.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Reddish-purple, rosy-pink pea-like flowers emerge in clusters before the foliage in early spring directly on stems and trunk. Blooms from March to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Thin and papery, dull green, 3-5 in. alternate, simple, cordate leaves. Yellow to yellowish-orange fall color. Cultivars include purple, golden and variegated foliage types. The underside can be slightly hairy.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Ridges
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    The maroon-like, dark-colored bark is smooth when young, becoming scaly with ridges as the tree ages.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    The stems appear almost black and spotted with lighter pores.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Understory Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil