Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis

Pocket Park - North Georgia

Redbuds in Pocket Park – North Georgia

There are two Redbuds: Eastern and Western. Ours are Eastern Redbuds, shortened here to just  ‘Redbuds’.

The Redbud is usually one of the first trees to bloom in the spring.  Pink to reddish purple flowers are grown on old twigs, branches, and trunks. [1]   The flowers are showy, light to dark magenta pink in color, ½ inch long, appearing in clusters from Spring to early Summer, on bare stems before the leaves, sometimes on the trunk itself.  The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees such as blueberry bees and carpenter bees. Short-tongued bees apparently cannot reach the nectar. [5]

In the wild, the Redbud is a native and is a frequent understory tree in mixed forests. [5]  It’s deciduous, and a member of the pea family.

Identification and Description

Redbud Seed Pods

Redbud Seed Pods

A Redbud typically grows 20–30 ft. tall with a 26–33 ft. spread.  It generally has a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches.  A 10-year-old tree will generally be around 15 ft) tall.  The bark is dark in color, smooth, later scaly with ridges somewhat apparent, sometimes with maroon patches. The twigs are slender and zigzag, nearly black in color, spotted with lighter lenticels.  [5]

It has pink flowers that cover the twigs in spring. The fruit, which appears in early spring, looks like a pea.

Supported Wildlife and Other Uses

The Eastern Redbud attracts birds and has special value to Native Bees. [3]

Champion Eastern Redbud Trees in Atlanta and Georgia


Atlanta Champion Trees – full list
Georgia Champion Trees – full list
Intown Hawk – Condensed Atlanta and Georgia List

References and Additional Information

[1] UGA Extension: Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines (B 987) – Eastern Redbud
[2] UDSA Natural Resources Conservation Service: Plant Fact Sheet – Eastern Redbud
[3] Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Cercis canadensis
[4] Missouri Botanical Garden: Cercis canadensis
[5] Wikipedia: Cercis canadensis