Eastern Redbud

Eastern Redbud

redbud

The Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), is native to the eastern US, including eastern Nebraska. It grows in the wild on moist soils in valleys or bottomlands, as an understory tree in open woods. At maturity, the redbud is 15 to 30 feet tall.

It is one of the first trees to bloom in spring, before the leaves come out. Flowers are pink to magenta, appearing in April. Flowers can form on twigs and even trunks, and are a source of pollen for honey bees. Some varieties have been bred to produce white flowers. After flowering, heart-shaped leaves appear, about four inches long and across. The tree, in the legume family, produces small flat pods about 4 inches long containing 4 to 10 hard dark-colored seeds.

You can find information on propagation at the USDA website. If you have a redbud tree, check for seedlings in soil near the trunk, from seeds that have fallen the year before. You can transplant these seedlings where you'd like them to grow, or to a moist area to allow them to grow in a protected environment until they establish roots. Do this while the plants are young, as they develop taproots which make them difficult to transplant successfully.

redbud