2016

 
 

Here is a beautiful variation on the popular Redbud or Judas tree. This one is Chain flowered redbud, or Cercis racemosa, a rare and unique native of western China. Instead of the typical blossoms knitted tightly to every branch and twig, the Chain flowered redbud has, as its name implies, chains of flowers, as long as 4 inches, which dangle from the branches, rather like a laburnum, or wisteria, which gives a very different look to this redbud and a more graceful display of bloom. The flower color is also a little softer as well. Instead of a loud magenta-red, soft pink blossoms hang from the branches instead, and sway delicately in the lightest breeze. And yet, despite a more refined habit, Chain flowered redbud is as tough as any other redbud and able to adapt to different soil types and exposures, growing in sun to part shade. And with its medium texture and open structure, under planting is easy. Like most Redbuds, it is deciduous and the leaves may turn a soft yellow in autumn. It only grows 20 to 25 feet with a similar spread, making it adaptable to most urban gardens and suitable beneath electrical lines.
It is hardy throughout the UK and much of the US, especially the warmer, southern half and well adapted to Australia and New Zealand. Like most out of the ordinary trees, Chain flowered redbud will not be found in the big nurseries but rather in the more select, connoisseur tree nurseries or mail-order plant nurseries.

Another special redbud is Lavender Twist Weeping redbud, Cercis canadensis ‘Lavender Twist’.

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Chain-flowered redbud

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