50 Natives : Alabama : Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)

The Redbud is universally loved and is one of the best spring flowering trees. It is used by Native Americans in basket making because its inner bark bears a naturally red color preferred for creating contrasting patterns in the weave. Many people also call it a Judas tree – though it is not the real ‘Judas tree’ (that is the similar Cercis siliquastrum). Did you know that it is called the Judas Tree because it is the supposed tree that Judas hanged himself from when he betrayed Christ – lore says that the tree ‘blushed’ when this happened. Hmmm…

Wikipedia describes the Redbud:

It typically grows to 6-9 m (20-30 feet) tall with a 8-10 m (25-35 foot) spread. It generally has a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches. The flowers are showy, light to dark magenta pink in color, 1.5 cm (½ inch) long, appearing in clusters from March to May, on bare stems before the leaves, sometimes on the trunk itself. The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees such as blueberry bees and carpenter bees. Short-tongued bees apparently cannot reach the nectaries.

In some parts of southern Appalachia, green twigs from the Eastern redbud are used as seasoning for wild game such as venison and opossum. Because of this, in these mountain areas the Eastern redbud is sometimes known as the spicewood tree.


1. Redbud leaves, 2. Seedpods on an Eastern Redbud Tree, 3. redbud tree 2, 4. Blossoms of the Eastern Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis), 5. Spring is here, 6. Redbud Rhapsody, 7. Spring Dreams, 8. Redbud (Cercis canadensis), 9. Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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1 Comment

  1. Tammie Justice on April 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    are there two different types of eastern redbuds? one with green leaves and one with red leaves. my husband and i are confused.

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