Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Cercis canadensis

Leaves are simple, alternate, deciduous, and heart-shaped with smooth margins. Twigs are maroon to black and zigzag. Buds are small and black above raised leaf scars. Bark is brown-black to red-brown and scaly. Flowers appear before leaves and are a brilliant purple-pink. Fruit is a red-brown legume 3-4 inches long. Form is up to 12 m (40 ft) in height with a low open crown. Redbud is an understory tree found on a variety of sites in the east and central U.S. The seed is eaten by birds and animals including deer. Cultivars with different flower and leaf colors are available for landscaping. Some group this species in Fabaceae.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: