Botanical Name: Cercis chinensis
Common Name: Chinese Redbud
Nativity: C. & S. China
Notable Feature: As with many North American species, China has its counterpart, Cercis chinensis. The flowers emerge at the same time as Cercis canadensis, but are a showier, deeper purplish pink, and tend to be more profuse, thickly lining the branches and the main stems.
Habit: A deciduous, small, multistemmed shrub less than 10 feet in height. It branches low on the stem resulting in an overall vase-shaped habit.
Flower: Very showy, rosy purple flowers, pea-like, and about ¾” long appear profusely in clusters along twigs and stems in early spring before the leaves. Flowers are perfect (bisexual) and are pollinated by bees.
Fruit: Pendulous, flat, bean-like seed pods (to 5” long) mature in late summer and contain numerous, dark brown, ¼-inch long seeds.
Foliage: Foliage is alternate, rounded, leathery and waxy. The heart-shaped leaves (3 to 5” long) are shiny dark green above and paler below.
Interesting Fact: Native to the woodlands, thickets, and slopes in southern China where it is found growing to heights of 50 feet or more.