Botanical Name: Cercis canadensis var. texensis
Common Name: Texas Redbud
Origin: SW North America
Notable Feature: This variety differs from the more easterly Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) in having smaller, glossier, and usually hairier leaves with wavy edges, more of a tendency to have red seedpods, and a smaller stature. It is also more drought tolerant than the Eastern Redbud.
Habit: Small, deciduous tree/shrub, compact and commonly multi-stemmed reaching 10 to 20 feet in height with a similar spread.
Flower: Clusters of perfect (bisexual) purplish pink flowers appear up and down the tree limbs in early spring before the leaves emerge and continue to bloom as the leaves develop. The pea-like flowers are ½-inch wide, borne on a ½-inch long stem, and occur in clusters of 4 to 8.
Fruit: Small, 4-inch long, flattened seedpod remains on the tree well into winter. Does not attract wildlife and presents no significant litter problem.
Foliage: Shiny, thick, leathery, dark green leaves, 4 to 8 inches long and 2 to 4 inches wide, have rounded or notched tips and undulating margins, turning yellow before dropping in the fall.
Interesting Fact: In Mexico and western Texas, the flowers of redbud are fried and eaten as a delicacy. John Lawson wrote of redbud flowers being used in salads in his History of North Carolina, published in 1708. The Texas Redbud is the state tree of Oklahoma.