Ye Ole Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis

Unfortunately these pictures were taken in the fading light after rains had nearly washed us away the other evening, but you can see the craggy weather-worn structure of our old redbud in the back. Redbud trees are very common here in Tennessee and to me they are the ultimate symbol of spring's arrival. Their blossoms range from a dark to light purple and they flower profusely in early spring.

In the picture you can see the trunk of the tree blooming with flowers. As the redbud trees grow older they become less shade tolerant and fade away from heart rot and competition from other trees. I suspect that the competition between the trees around it have prevented our redbud from growing enough branches for blossoms and so it produced them on the trunk. Redbuds are self-pollinating trees that form seed pods containing several hard shelled seeds. If you attempt to grow them from seed make sure you stratify them first to help break through that coating. Even after stratification the seeds may remain dormant for several years.

Redbuds are common throughout the eastern United States. They are small trees and are a great choice for gardens with small spaces.

Look around for them if you happen to be driving through the Cumberland Plateau in the springtime, the display there is amazing!

For more information on Redbuds check out the U.S. Forest Service's web page or for another garden blogger's perspective visit Dee over at Red Dirt Ramblings.

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