Identifying Redbuds

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 American 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 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 found in west Texas and northern Mexico, having smaller leaves with wavy margins.

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 02:50 PM


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