Identifying Redbuds in Texas

The botanical name for the Eastern, or American redbud is Cercis canadensis, and it is a member of the pea family, Fabaceae. Some taxonomists consider both the Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) and the Mexican redbud (Cercis canadensis var. mexicana) natural localized variations of the Eastern redbud.
In East Texas, in well-drained acidic soil, with regular moisture, the Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis canadensis) in its typical form is found. It can be identified by its medium sized, dull green leaves, which, like all redbuds, emerge after the blossoms have fallen.


In Central Texas and southern Oklahoma, Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis texensis, formerly C. reniformis) is identified by its medium sized, glossy-green leaves and wavy margins, and its ability to tolerate drier, more alkaline soils. more suited to the harsher conditions of Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio landscapes.


The Mexican redbud (Cercis canadensis mexicana) is smaller in stature, ususally multi-trunked, and found in west Texas and northern Mexico. It is extremely drought tolerant, with smaller leaves and ruffled, wavier margins than the var texensis. The leaf pedicels and young branchlets of Mexican Redbud are densely woolly-tomentose and leaves slightly so. No doubt intermediate forms exist in various locations. Some botanist consider Mexican Redbud to be merely a hairy form of Texas Redbud instead of a distinct variety of Eastern Redbud. However, since forms resembling Mexican Redbud have been found in Dallas and Hood Counties it may be more likely to have derived from Eastern Redbud. Source: Robert A. Vines, Trees of Central Texas


All of these native redbuds have similar flowers in early spring. Typical redbud flowers are, of course, not red. They are normally in the purple-pink range, but also can be rosy pink or white.


Cercis canadensis range map

Posted by lanechaffin lanechaffin, January 17, 2019 14:50

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