Botanical Name: Cercis 'Merlot'
Common Name: Merlot Redbud
Nativity: Garden Origin
When compared to the open, spreading habit of the original purple cultivar, 'Forest Pansy' (Tree # 13), ‘Merlot’ was selected for its semi-upright, vase-shaped growth habit. The shiny purple leaves of 'Merlot' are also smaller and thicker than those of 'Forest Pansy', and maintain their attractive purple color well into the latter part of the growing season. 'Merlot' has excellent branching with dense growth, and is shorter in stature. Flowering is prolific and flower color is an attractive, bright reddish purple. This hybrid (Cercis canadensis var. texensis ‘Texas White’ x Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’) was bred by Dennis Werner at North Carolina State University, introduced in 2010, and is much more drought- and heat-tolerant than ‘Forest Pansy’. It will mature to around 12 to 15 feet high and wide. ‘Merlot’ received US Plant Patent #22,297 and is hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 9.