Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Cercis canadensis
(ser-cus can-ah-den-sis)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

The redbud is a small, deciduous tree with alternate buds and leaves. It is a leguminous plant and therefore produces a pod of fruit, like a pea or a bean. Redbud leaves are large and heart-shaped with a smooth surface. In fall they turn a pale yellow color. Reddish-purple flowers appear in mid-May.

What is it used for?

The redbud can be used as an ornamental or shade tree. It makes a great lawn tree or specimen.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The redbud prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soil. They should be spaced 25 feet apart.

What are its primary problems?

The redbud can suffer from cankers, twig kill, and flower bud injury in severe winters. The wood of the redbud is brittle and the tree has weak crotches. The fruit pods pose a potential maintenance problem.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.