Beautiful redbuds

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is in spectacular bloom this year. 

Redbud in a yard

Although it seems the common name should be pink or purple bud, I guess the flowers in bud are redder than when open in bloom.  I’ve always wondered how pioneers learned colors and kept them consistent before many folks had books in color or other ways to standardize.  Anyway, redbud is unusual in our area in that it is in the legume, the bean or pea, family and yet is it a small tree. 

Bean-shaped redbud flowers

A close look at the flowers shows the familiar bean flower shape and the seeds are borne in legume pods that split open along two sides. Black locust is another woody member of this family in our area.  Redbuds have cute hard-shaped leaves that come out after the flowers. 

Redbud leaves are heart-shaped

There is a very nice display of small redbuds in landscaping around Panera Bread at Glendale Mall here in Indy.  In my yard near Butler, redbud comes in on its own and grows quickly to reach flowering size within a few years.

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