Western Redbud

19 Oct

Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis), deciduous shrub or small tree, moderate growth to 10 to 18 ft., milti-stemmed growth habit, clusters of magenta flowers in spring, blue-green foliage, full sun to light shade, drought tolerant, somewhat deer resistant, native. Mexican Redbud (Cercis mexicana) also does well in our area.

Cercis is valued for flowers, fruit, and foliage. Clusters of small, sweet pea–shaped, rosy to purplish pink blossoms in early–spring; where plant is adapted, blooms are borne in great profusion on bare twigs, branches, sometimes even on main trunk. Flowers are followed by clusters of flat, beanlike pods that persist into winter. Attractive broad, rounded leaves are heart shaped at base.

All redbuds provide fall color and are attractive on banks and in naturalized settings. Do any pruning in dormant season or after bloom.

Cercis occidentalis 

Native to California, Arizona, Utah, but predominantly found in California foothills below 4,000 ft. Shrub or small tree 10 to 18 ft. tall and wide; usually produces several trunks from base. Provides all-year interest. Magenta flowers bloom in spring; handsome blue-green, 3-in. leaves, notched or rounded at tip, and newly forming magenta seedpods adorn branches in summer. Foliage turns light yellow or red in fall, and bare branches holding reddish brown seedpods are picturesque in winter. Best floral display comes in areas with some winter chill. Resistant to oak root fungus. Very drought tolerant; excellent for seldom-watered banks.

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