|Eastern redbud near Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Natural range of the eastern redbud|
Cercis canadensis, the eastern redbud, is a large deciduous shrub or small tree, native to eastern North America from southern Ontario, south to northern Florida but which can thrive as far west as California. It is the state tree of Oklahoma.
The eastern redbud typically grows to 6–9 m (20–30 ft) tall with an 8–10 m (26–33 ft) spread. It generally has a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches. A 10-year-old tree will generally be around 5 m (16 ft) tall. The bark is dark in color, smooth, later scaly with ridges somewhat apparent, sometimes with maroon patches. The twigs are slender and zigzag, nearly black in color, spotted with lighter lenticels. The winter buds are tiny, rounded and dark red to chestnut in color. The leaves are alternate, simple, and heart shaped with an entire margin, 7–12 cm (3–4.5 in) long and wide, thin and papery, and may be slightly hairy below.
The flowers are showy, light to dark magenta pink in color, 1.5 cm (1⁄2 in) long, appearing in clusters from Spring to early Summer, on bare stems before the leaves, sometimes on the trunk itself. The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees such as blueberry bees and carpenter bees. Short-tongued bees apparently cannot reach the nectaries. The fruit are flattened, dry, brown, pea-like pods, 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long that contain flat, elliptical, brown seeds 6 mm (1⁄4 in) long, maturing in August to October.
In some parts of southern Appalachia, green twigs from the eastern redbud are used as seasoning for wild game such as venison and opossum. Because of this, in these mountain areas the eastern redbud is sometimes known as the spicewood tree.
In the wild, eastern redbud is a frequent native understory tree in mixed forests and hedgerows. It is also much planted as a landscape ornamental plant. The leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, for example Henry's Elfin, the Redbud Leaffolde r, the white flannel moth, the American dagger moth, the grape leaffolder, and the Io moth (Automeris io).
In the United States, this tree is difficult to grow farther west into arid areas west of western Kansas and Colorado, as there is not sufficient annual precipitation. Its far northern range of growth is the lower Midwest, Ohio Valley, to the south of Boston. There has been success with growing the tree in Columbus, Wisconsin, which has become known as the "Columbus Strain" and a seed source for nurseries.
C. canadensis is grown in parks and gardens, with several cultivars being available. The cultivars 'Forest Pansy'and 'Ruby Falls' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017).
The flowers can be eaten fresh or fried.
Native Americans consumed redbud flowers raw or boiled, and ate roasted seeds. Analysis of nutritional components in edible parts of eastern redbud reported that:
Nyssa sylvatica, commonly known as tupelo, black tupelo, black gum or sour gum, is a medium-sized deciduous tree native to eastern North America from the coastal Northeastern United States and southern Ontario south to central Florida and eastern Texas, as well as Mexico.
Liriodendron tulipifera—known as the tulip tree, American tulip tree, tulipwood, tuliptree, tulip poplar, whitewood, fiddletree, and yellow-poplar—is the North American representative of the two-species genus Liriodendron, and the tallest eastern hardwood. It is native to eastern North America from Southern Ontario and possibly southern Quebec to Illinois eastward to southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and south to central Florida and Louisiana. It can grow to more than 50 m (160 ft) in virgin cove forests of the Appalachian Mountains, often with no limbs until it reaches 25–30 m (80–100 ft) in height, making it a very valuable timber tree.
Cercis is a genus of about 10 species in the subfamily Cercidoideae of the pea family Fabaceae, native to warm temperate regions. It contains small deciduous trees or large shrubs commonly known as redbuds. They are characterised by simple, rounded to heart-shaped leaves and pinkish-red flowers borne in the early spring on bare leafless shoots, on both branches and trunk ("cauliflory"). Cercis is derived from the Greek word κερκις (kerkis) meaning "weaver's shuttle", which was applied by Theophrastus to C. siliquastrum.
American sweetgum, also known as American storax, hazel pine, bilsted, redgum, satin-walnut, star-leaved gum, alligatorwood, or simply sweetgum, is a deciduous tree in the genus Liquidambar native to warm temperate areas of eastern North America and tropical montane regions of Mexico and Central America. Sweet gum is one of the main valuable forest trees in the southeastern United States, and is a popular ornamental tree in temperate climates. It is recognizable by the combination of its five-pointed star-shaped leaves and its hard, spiked fruits. It is currently classified in the plant family Altingiaceae, but was formerly considered a member of the Hamamelidaceae.
Magnolia stellata, sometimes called the star magnolia, is a slow-growing shrub or small tree native to Japan. It bears large, showy white or pink flowers in early spring, before its leaves open. This species is closely related to the Kobushi magnolia, and is treated by many botanists as a variety or even a cultivar of that. However, Magnolia stellata was accepted as a distinct species in the 1998 monograph by Hunt.
Koelreuteria paniculata is a species of flowering plant in the family Sapindaceae, native to eastern Asia, in China and Korea. It was introduced in Europe in 1747, and to America in 1763, and has become a popular landscape tree worldwide. Common names include goldenrain tree, pride of India, China tree, and the varnish tree.
Cercidiphyllum is a genus containing two species of plants, both commonly called katsura. They are the sole members of the monotypic family Cercidiphyllaceae. The genus is native to Japan and China and unrelated to Cercis (redbuds).
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant native to eastern North America. It is the only species in the genus Sanguinaria, included in the family Papaveraceae, and most closely related to Eomecon of eastern Asia.
Aesculus flava, the yellow buckeye, common buckeye, or sweet buckeye, is a species of deciduous tree. It is native to the Ohio Valley and Appalachian Mountains of the Eastern United States. It grows in mesophytic forest or floodplains, generally in acid to circumneutral soil, reaching a height of 20m to 48m.
Cornus canadensis is a species of flowering plant in the dogwood family, native to eastern Asia, the northern United States, Colorado, New Mexico, Canada and Greenland. Unlike its relatives, which are for the most part substantial trees and shrubs, C. canadensis is a creeping, rhizomatous perennial growing to about 20 cm (8 in) tall.
Cornus alternifolia is a species of flowering plant in the dogwood family Cornaceae, native to eastern North America, from Newfoundland west to southern Manitoba and Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and Mississippi. It is rare in the southern United States. It is commonly known as green osier, alternate-leaved dogwood, and pagoda dogwood.
Catalpa bignonioides is a species of Catalpa that is native to the southeastern United States in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Common names include southern catalpa, cigartree, and Indian-bean-tree.
Cladrastis kentukea, the Kentucky yellowwood or American yellowwood, is a species of Cladrastis native to the Southeastern United States, with a restricted range from western North Carolina west to eastern Oklahoma, and from southern Missouri and Indiana south to central Alabama. Also the tree is sometimes called Virgilia.
Cercis occidentalis, the western redbud or California redbud, is a small tree or shrub in the legume family. It is found across the American Southwest, from California to Utah and Arizona.
Cercis siliquastrum, commonly known as the Judas tree or Judas-tree, is a small deciduous tree from Southern Europe and Western Asia which is noted for its prolific display of deep pink flowers in spring.
Stewartia malacodendron, the silky camellia, silky stewartia or Virginia stewartia, is a species of flowering plant in the family Theaceae. It grows slowly into a large deciduous shrub or small tree, typically 3–4.5 m (10–15 ft) tall, but sometimes as tall as 9 m (30 ft). It is native to the southeastern United States.
Callophrys henrici, the Henry's elfin or woodland elfin, is a North American butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. In Canada it is found from southern Manitoba to southern Nova Scotia. It has two main groups of populations in the United States; the first is found along the Atlantic Coast and uses various hollies (Ilex) as host plants; and the second is found mainly in the north and the Appalachians where they use redbud as a host plant. Henry's elfin is increasing in New England because of an introduced buckthorn it now uses as a host plant. It is listed as a species of special concern in the US state of Connecticut.
Anemone blanda, common names Balkan anemone, Grecian windflower or winter windflower, is a species of flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae, native to southeastern Europe, Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria. The specific epithet blanda means "mild" or "charming". The genus name is derived from the Greek word anemos, or wind.
Cercis chinensis, the Chinese redbud, is a plant of the family Fabaceae native to China and Japan that grows between 150 to 1,400 metres above sea level.
Frasera caroliniensis, commonly known as American columbo or yellow gentian, is a herbaceous perennial of the gentian family Gentianaceae found in the deciduous forest of Southern Ontario and throughout the eastern and southeastern United States. It was previously known as Swertia caroliniensis.