The Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is another tree that could rival one of my all time favorites for a number of reasons, it has the most wonderful pink flower display in spring, I love the heart-shaped foliage, and it attracts many of our native pollinators. This tree is a wonderful choice for those of us gardeners who are interested sustainable gardening and would like a beautiful accent tree.
The Eastern Redbud is a native tree can grow 15 to 30 feet tall and reach 15 to 25 feet wide. It is one of the first trees to bloom in spring. A member of the pea family, the tiny pink flowers form a blanket along all the stems of this tree in spring. After flowering, the leaves of the redbud begin to appear, hosting a reddish tint, then changing to green. Come fall, the leaves become a warm, golden-yellow color.
The Eastern Redbud is a great source of spring nectar for hungry bees and butterflies. The flowers offer a favorite nectar source for the little brown Henry’s Elfin butterfly. The leaves become a larval food source for the Spring Azure. Female Spring Azure butterflies will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves of the Redbud. The eggs hatch into tiny green caterpillars which then become adult Spring Azure butterflies. In fall, seeds of the Eastern Redbud become an important food source for migrating birds.