Virginia Tech Dendrology

eastern redbud Fabaceae Cercis canadensis L. Listen to the Latin play symbol: CECA4
Leaf: Alternate, simple, cordate in shape, 3 to 5 inches long and wide, with an entire margin, thin and papery, petioles conspicuously swollen on both ends; green above and slightly paler below.
Flower: Very showy, pea-like, pink to light purple in color, 1/2 inch long, appearing in clusters all along even older stems in early spring before the leaves.
Fruit: Flattened, dry legumes, brown, 2 to 4 inches long that contain flat, elliptical, brown seeds 1/4 inch long, maturing in late summer.
Twig: Slender and zigzag, nearly black in color, spotted with lighter lenticels, leaf buds are tiny and dark red to chestnut in color; flowers buds are round and often numerous in large clusters on older woody stems.
Bark: Initially smooth and brown; later ridged and furrowed to scaly and dark gray; may have some maroon patches evident and orange in the cracks.
Form: A large shrub or small tree up to 30 feet with a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches.
Looks like: honeylocust - western redbud - Chinese redbud
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Cercis canadensis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting eastern redbud.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson