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Native alternative(s) for Cercis racemosa:
Cercis canadensis tree form with pink blooms
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Cornus controversa Cornus controversa
Halesia carolina Full Form
Tilia americana Tilia americana

Pendulous Redbud Cercis racemosa

Phonetic Spelling
SER-sis ray-see-MO-suh
Description

Introduced in 1907 by E. H. Wilson, Cercis racemosa, or Chain-flowered Redbud is distinct from any other Redbuds in having long racemes of flowers which can be up to 4″ long and contain upwards of 40 pale pink to lavender flowers. These long racemes make Cercis racemosa distinct from other species.  In addition, the downy character of the young wood, as well as leaf and flower stalk markings are distinctive in this species.

It is easily grown in any rich, well-drained soil in a sunny to a partially shaded spot. The flowers provide nectar for bees and once pollinated, form leguminous pods, the seed can be consumed by birds. Trees will grow to about 25′ tall (occasionally taller) and wide and tend to have a very open habit. The foliage is the typical heart shape of the rest of the genus. Grow this plant in full sun to part shade in moist soils. It is best adapted to warmer climates.

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.

Please consider planting native Redbuds!

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: This tree can suffer from damage caused by deer.  Failure to protect from temperatures lower than -5 degrees F may lead to flower bud kill and stem injury.  Cold damage will also make the plant more susceptible to damage from insects and diseases.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#shade tree#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#wildlife plant#nectar plant#spring flowers#fall interest#year-round interest#lawn tree#specialized bees#lavender flowers#pollinator plant#deciduous tree#bird friendly#partial shade tolerant#bee friendly#cold intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#small tree#shade tree#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#wildlife plant#nectar plant#spring flowers#fall interest#year-round interest#lawn tree#specialized bees#lavender flowers#pollinator plant#deciduous tree#bird friendly#partial shade tolerant#bee friendly#cold intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cercis
    Species:
    racemosa
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern & Central China
    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.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Rounded
    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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The brown/tan seed pod is wide, flat and glabrous. They will grow to 3-4" long and 3/4" wide.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Light pink to silver/rose/purple flowers are produced in mid-spring, in 2-4"-long, pendulous chains of 20-40 flowers, resembling wisteria in appearance. Flower color is not as vivid as other redbud types.
  • 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 Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Light green to blue-green, heart-shaped leaves. Young leaves have glaucous undersides with purplish veins.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Larger branches are gray to sandy-brown. Smooth, gray bark on older trees.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought