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Products > Cercis occidentalis
Cercis occidentalis - Western Redbud
Image of Cercis occidentalis
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Caesalpiniaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Flower Color: Magenta
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 12-20 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Cercis occidentalis (Western Redbud) - A small deciduous tree or shrub to 15 feet tall or more and as wide that usually has several trunks from its base unless pruned into a single trunk. It has attractive 3 inch long heart-shaped leaves that emerge in late winter a pale-green color, tinged red, and age to a blue-green, then turn yellow before dropping in the fall. It is profuse in bloom with numerous magenta pea-shaped flowers in the spring along the bare stems, just prior to the emergence of the leaves. The flowers are followed by 4 to 6 inch long flatted reddish seed pods that age to light brown and often hold on into winter. Plant in sun or part shade but flowers best in full sun. It grows in variable soil types (even clayey soil) but requires that the soils drain and also tolerates a wide range of moisture conditions including no supplemental irrigation - this is a drought tolerant plant and it is resistant to oak root fungus. Flowers best in locations where the temperature drops to 28 degrees F or less and is hardy to USDA Zone 5a (-20 F). Red bud is native to California, Arizona and Utah, but grows predominantly in California foothills below 4000 feet. In the garden it is a great plant for its attractive form, flowers and foliage. The foliage is particularly attractive when backlit. The flowers attract hummingbirds. The name Cercis is from the Greek word 'kerkis' which means a "weaver's shuttle" in reference to the shape of the fruit. The specific epithet 'occidentalis' is from Latin meaning "of the west" as this is where this species is restricted, growing from Utah west to California.  The information displayed on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations that we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how it has performed in our crops out in the nursery field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well, and welcome hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information we do not mention that would aid others in growing Cercis occidentalis.