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Cercis canadensis

Object Details

Description
One of the first trees to bloom in the spring, eastern redbud is known for its many pink pea flower-like blossoms. The flowers bloom on the tree’s bare branches before the leaves appear, creating the image of branches entirely covered in pink flowers. Some Native Americans used this tree for food, medicinally, and to beautify the home.
Eastern redbud is Endangered in New Jersey, and of Special Concern in Connecticut.
Hardiness
-30 - 20 F
Attracts
Butterflies
Bloom Time
March to May
Ethnobotanical Uses
Some Native Americans would bring blooming redbud branches into the home to "drive winter out." Children would eat the blossoms, which could be eaten raw or fried.
Medicinal / Pharmaceutical
The Alabama, Cherokee, Delaware, Kiowa, and Oklahoma are some of the Native American tribes who used redbud bark in various preparations to treat whooping cough, vomiting, and fever.
Provenance
From a cultivated plant not of known wild origin
Range
Central to E US; Mexico
Habitat
forest understory in moist woods, riparian, in revines, on bluffs, open rocky woods, abandoned farmland
Topic
Trees
Living Collections
See more items in
Smithsonian Gardens Tree Collection
On Display
Anacostia Community Museum
Data Source
Smithsonian Gardens
Accession Number
2019-0318A
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Common Name
Eastern Redbud
Judas Tree
Group
[vascular plants]
Class
Equisetopsida
Subclass
Magnoliidae
Superorder
Rosanae
Order
Fabales
Family
Fabaceae
Genus
Cercis
Species
canadensis
Life Form
Deciduous tree
Average Height
15-30'
Bark Characteristics
Brown, scaly
Bloom Characteristics
Grow on old twigs, branches, and the trunk. Irregular, pea flower-shaped, and 3-4.5" long.
Fall Color
Yellow
Foliage Characteristics
Simple, alternate, cordate, leaves start light green and darken over time. 4" long.
Fruit Characteristics
Clusters of green pods turn brown once they mature. Each contains 4-10 black or brown seeds. 3.5" long.
Structure
Mature: vase
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ax7d0650958-1b96-4243-99bf-a7472ebc47b1
Record ID
ofeo-sg_2019-0318A
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
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