redbud for bright colored fall trees and shrubs
Photo: Mark Turner
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(Cercis spp.)

Despite its name, this small tree bears bright pinkish-purple spring flowers before its heart-shaped leaves appear. Most varieties turn yellow in autumn; the eastern redbud (C. canadensis) 'Forest Pansy' is one of the few with reddish-purple fall foliage. In winter, long mahogany seed pods cling to bare branches. The eastern redbud is more common and adaptable than the western natives (C. occidentalis and C. canadensis mexicana), though the latter are very drought tolerant. Due to its varied seasonal interest and its ability to grow in light shade, redbud provides a great contrast next to evergreens. Eastern kinds grow to 35 feet; western types to about half that.

Full sun or light shade; moderate to regular water; Zones 4-9
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