Redbud

Silhouette - redbud
  • Latin name: Cercis canadensis L.
  • French name: Gainier rouge
  • Synonym(s): Judas-tree
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 25782
  • NA4 , C6
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf with detail of swollen leaf stalk - redbud

Form

  • Deciduous, alternate, simple
  • Heart-shaped to rounded, tip short, blunt
  • 5–9 principal veins
  • Prominent, radiating from the base of the blade 

Width

  • 8–13 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface pale bluish-green
  • Lower surface lighter

Margin

  • Smooth

Petiole

  • Swollen where it meets the leaf blade

 

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - redbud

Form

  • Terminal bud absent
  • Lateral buds slender, flat, pressed against the twig with 5 or 6 scales
  • Second very small bud may be present, partially covered by the leaf scar
  • Flower buds larger, rounded, stalked
  • In small clusters, on branches and trunk
  • Leaf scars raised, inversely triangular with 3 vein scars

Colour

  • Lateral buds dark reddish-brown

 

Twigs

  • Winter twig - redbud

Form

  • Slender, zigzag
  • 3 ridges extending down from each leaf scar

Colour

  • Reddish-brown
  • Pith pinkish, with darker streaks

Flowers

Form

  • Pea-flower shape
  • On stalks about as long as the flowers
  • Numerous, in small clusters along the trunk and branches

Length

  • About 10 mm

Colour

  • Deep pink in the bud, becoming pale pink as petals open

Structure

  • Synoecious

Floral timing

  • Early in spring before the leaves

 

Fruits

  • Fruit (left), seed (right) - redbud

Form

  • Flat pod
  • Pointed at both ends
  • Short-stalked
  • In small lateral clusters

Length

  • 5–10 cm

Colour

  • Pod reddish-brown

Structure

  • Legume

Seeds

Form

  • Shiny, flat, round, hard
  • 10–12 per pod

Colour

  • Brown

 

Bark

Form

  • Smooth when young, becoming scaly with age

Colour

  • Grey with reddish streaks when young, becoming reddish-brown

Size

Height

  • To 8 m

 

Tree form

  • Silhouette - redbud

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Low
  • Many branches

Crown

  • Spreading, with horizontal and ascending branches

Habitat

Site

  • A tree of the understory and forest edges
  • Often along streams

Light tolerance

  • Shade-tolerant

 

Range

Native to eastern North America, from Mexico to the north
Natural range in Canada uncertain
Probably native in Canada on Lake Erie's Pelee Island

Photos
  • Redbud
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Distribution map
Distribution map - redbud
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