Six species of Cercis are
native to Europe, Asia
and North America. Most have the unusual trait
of producing flowers on the trunk and large branches. A close look at the
flowers shows clearly that they are a member of the bean family. The eastern
redbud is native to the eastern U.S.
and northeastern Mexico.
It is commonly grown as an ornamental tree for its heavy crop of pink to white
flowers in early spring. Trees can grow to forty feet tall but are usually half
that in the landscape. Flowers and young pods have been eaten but reportedly
parts of the plant contain toxic saponins.
Variety ‘Lavender Twist’ is a horticultural selection with
drooping branches. It droops so strongly that it must be staked when young to
develop an upright trunk.
Plants can be seen on the east sides of buildings 10 and 50.
A large shrub or small tree ranging from three to ten feet tall depending on training.
Light: full sun to part shade
Water: drought tolerant
Soil: adaptable, no special requirements
Eastern redbud, and its various forms, is very easy to grow
in north Florida.
Its flowers signal the start of spring in Jacksonville.
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