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Eastern Redbud
Cercis canadensis

Featured Image Credit: “More wild redbud in the forest” by Miki James is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another one of my favorite Virginia trees! So far, I have only found ONE, let me repeat, ONE small-sized redbud at Middle Way Nature Reserve. I try not to covet this tree. I do try.

In the spring, when I’m driving down one of the main roads here, both sides are peppered with the pink/purple redbuds, super early bright spring green of leaves, and then slowly a little later the white dogwoods join the party. It is just SO beautiful.

And to answer the question of why it’s called a Redbud, “Redbuds receive their name from the dark maroon color of their buds, but most people will remember the tree in bloom.” Now I know!

Size: 15-33' tall
Family: Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Habitat: Woods; stream banks; limestone bluffs.
Identification: Tree with short trunk, rounded crown of spreading branches, and pink flowers that cover the twigs in spring. It has one to several picturesque, maroon-purple trunks and a wide, umbrella-like crown. Its pink flowers, borne in tight clusters along the stems and branches before new leaves appear, create a showy spring display. Smooth, heart-shaped, deciduous foliage does not have significant fall color. From wildflower.org. Blooms March-May
Uses: "Add flowers and flower buds to salads, breads and pancakes. They have a slightly sour taste, high in vitamin C. Young pods may be eaten raw, boiled or sautéed." From wildflower.org  You can also make a redbud jelly.
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