Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis
Attributes: Spectacular spring blossoms. The seeds provide winter food for birds. An excellent tree for planting near utility lines. Provides good shade when planted near patios. Well known for its beauty, it is the state tree of Oklahoma.
Description: Rosy pink flowers appear in April. Reddish-purple leaves change to dark green, then to yellow. Forms a spreading, graceful crown. Full sun or light shade. Partial shade preferred in windy, dry areas. Grows to 20' to 30', 30' spread.
Wildlife Value: Northern bobwhite and a few songbirds, such as chickadees, will eat the seeds, and it can be used for nesting sites and nesting materials, it also provides shelter for birds and mammals.
History/Lore/Use: Native to North America and Canada with cousins in Europe and Asia. First cultivated in 1811. The Spaniards noted Redbuds and made distinctions between the New World species and their cousins in the Mediterranean region in 1571. George Washington reported in his diary on many occasions about the beauty of the tree and spent many hours in his garden transplanting seedlings obtained from the nearby forest.
Leaves: The leaves of this tree are reddish-purple, changing to dark green and then yellow.
Flower Color: Rosy-pink flowers
Bloom Time: April.
Fruit Description: This tree produces a pod, brown-brownish black and 2 to 3 inches long.