Eastern Redbud

Eastern Redbud
Missing image
Xylocopa_9789.JPG



Carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica)
on Redbud (Cercis canadensis).
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Fabales
Family:Fabaceae
Subfamily:Caesalpinioideae
Genus:Cercis
Species:canadensis
Binomial name
Cercis canadensis

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a large shrub or small tree in the pea family Fabaceae, native to eastern North America from southern Ontario, Canada south to northern Florida, United States.

It typically grows to 8-12 m tall, with a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches. 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. The winter buds are tiny, rounded and dark red to chestnut in color. The leaves are alternate, simple, cordate in shape with an entire margin, 7-12cm (3-5 inches) long and wide, thin and papery, and may be slightly hairy below.

The flowers are showy, light to dark pink in color, 1.5 cm ( inch) long, appearing in clusters from March to May, on bare stems before the leaves. The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees such as blueberry bees and carpenter bees. Short-tongued bees apparently cannot reach the nectiaries. The fruit are flattened, dry, brown, pea-like pods, 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) long that contain flat, elliptical, brown seeds 6 mm ( inch) long, maturing in August to October.

In the wild, Eastern redbud is a frequent native understory tree in mixed forests and hedgerows. It is also much planted as a landscape ornamental plant.

Images

References

GRIN-CA (http://pgrc3.agr.ca/cgi-bin/npgs/html/family.pl?440) 2002-09-01

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