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Afghan Redbud Cercis griffithii

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SER-sis GRIF-ith-ee-eye
Description

Commonly called Afghan redbud, this upright deciduous tree is in the Fabaceae (bean) family.   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.  

In its native habitat of drier climates and sandy or gritty loam, Afghan redbud can be found in the wild in only a few locations that include dry stony slopes in semi-desert conditions.  It is considered to be endangered in these native locations.  Much of the habitat destruction is caused by the establishment of orchards and vineyards as well as urban expansion, grazing, and illegal harvesting.

The blooms of this variety of redbud persist longer than other speices.  The flowers are edible, and have a sour, but pleasant taste.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: This tree is a favorite of deer and can suffer from damage.  

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#wildlife plants#edible flowers#trees#nectar plant#specialized bees#endangered#long bloom time#pollinator plant#rare#deciduous tree#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#pollinators#pollinator garden#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#wildlife plants#edible flowers#trees#nectar plant#specialized bees#endangered#long bloom time#pollinator plant#rare#deciduous tree#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#pollinators#pollinator garden#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cercis
    Species:
    griffithii
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Attractive to butterflies, birds, and bees. 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.
    Edibility:
    The flowers are edible with a sour taste.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 12 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Dense clusters of purple/pink flowers that emerge in early spring before the foliage. The flowers will form and emerge on both the branches and the trunk of the tree.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Cordate leaf, alternate arrangement. 3-4" leaf blade, rounded margins, yellowish fall color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Screen/Privacy
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil