Cercis occidentalis

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Cercis occidentalis
Cercis occidentalis
Cercis occidentalis

Species Name: Cercis occidentalis
Common Name: Western Redbud

A gorgeous tree: brilliant magenta pea-shaped flowers in early spring, followed by lovely heart-shaped leaves that turn red and orange in fall.

Plant Family: Fabaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 15' H x 10' W
Growth Habit: Multi-trunked, rounded
Deciduous/Evergreen: Winter deciduous
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Moderate to regular
Cold Hardy to: 4500'
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Hot pink
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: Northern CA, Sierras, San Joaquin Valley, and extreme southwest CA to Utah and Arizona
Natural Habitat: Dry slopes, canyons, ravines or stream banks in Chaparral, Foothill Woodland and Yellow Pine Forest below 4500'

Hummingbird iconA.jpg Songbird iconA.jpg Oak iconA.jpg Butterfly iconA.jpg Slope iconA.jpg Container iconA.jpg

Care and Maintenance
Don't worry about half-circle cuts on the edges of young redbud leaves. Carpenter bees use these soft leaves to build their nests, cutting nickle-sized circles just at the edges of redbud leaves in the spring. Similar cuts can be found in other soft-leaved plants, native and non-native. Carpenter bees are great pollinators, especially for tomato plants, and they are not aggressive.
  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "Deciduous shrub 8 to 15 feet high, with roundish light green leaves and red-purple pea-shaped flowers. The blossoms are produced in great profusion and the shrub is exceedingly attractive when covered with flowers in winter and early spring. Gallon cans, 75c; 5 gallon cans, $2.00."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.