Chinese redbud Fabaceae Cercis
chinensis Bunge symbol: --
Leaf: Alternate, simple, cordate to round, 3 to 5 inches long and wide, thick and waxy texture, petioles conspicuously swollen at both ends, shiny dark green above paler below.
Flower: Very showy, deep pink to nearly purple, pea-like, 1/2 inch long, appear profusely in clusters along twigs and stems in early spring before the leaves.
Fruit: Flat, dry legume, 2 to 4 inches long, each containing numerous dark brown 1/4 inch long seeds, legume brown and dry when ripe in late summer.
Twig: Slender, zigzag, gray brown with lighter lenticels, leaf buds very small but round flower buds are in conspicuous clusters along older twigs and branches.
Bark: Light gray brown and smooth when young, later breaking into shallow fissures.
Form: A large shrub or small tree that branches and splits low on stem resulting in an overall vase-shape. As an ornamental it is generally a shrub but in its native Asia it may reach up to 45 feet in height.
Looks like: eastern redbud - western redbud
Additional Range Information: Cercis chinensis is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
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