Redbud in North America; American redbud in the UK, but botanically it is Cercis Canadensis. There is yet another name for it and that is Judas tree, since this is the tree from which he who betrayed Christ with a kiss hanged himself, though technically that be the very similar European cousin, Cercis siliquastrum. And there is also a Chinese redbud, Cercis chinensis.

Redbud is one of the great treasures of the forests of North America, along with the Dogwood. It is to spring what a Crapemyrtle is to summer – bright and bold, and diminutive the rest of the time.
The Eastern redbud is usually growing 20 to 30 feet high which makes it a small deciduous tree. The branching is light and upright and the tree develops some fall color in most areas. The wood is heavy and hard but too small to be of any commercial use. But that’s all right; the tree is highly valued as an ornamental and used extensively. It is one of the first trees to bloom in spring, as early as February along the Gulf coast. It also has a great range growing from New England south to Florida and west to Texas and does very well in the UK.
There are several excellent cultivars as well. Alba has white flowers, Appalachian red has deep red-purple, Silver cloud has purple-pink and white variegation on the leaves and most popular is Forest pansy with rose-purple flowers and beautiful deep purple leaves.
Redbuds are not long lived, 20 to 30 years. But that shouldn’t pose a problem since they are such a small tree, a small tree with huge impact.



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