TREE: Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Cercis canadensis flowers on branches.

In April, copious flower clusters hugged the trunks and branches of Cercis canadensis at the demonstration Quarry Shade Garden. Photo © 2019 Leslie Fillmore.

Cauliflory_Cercis_canadensis_mature_fruit_Aug_MMF

On August 29, an abundance of maturing legumes dangled from the branches of Cercis canadensis in front of the Fairlington Community Center. Photo © 2019 Mary Free.

Did you know that Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) exhibits cauliflory? This is when flowers and fruit are produced directly on the trunks and branches rather than on new growth or the ends of shoots. In Bon Air Park’s Quarry Shade Garden this spring, the redbud dotted with fuchsia flower clusters demonstrated cauliflory in spectacular fashion. At the Fairlington Community Center, the redbud tree in front of the Arlington County office of  Virginia Cooperative Extension also displays this trait with an abundance of legumes dangling from its branches.

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