Botanical Name: Cercis canadensis 'Hearts of Gold'
Common Name: Hearts of Gold Eastern Redbud
Nativity: E. & C. North America
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This stunning, golden-leaved cultivar was discovered by a former JC Raulston Arboretum employee; it was found growing in a private North Carolina garden in 2002 and was the first yellow-foliaged redbud to hit the market. Another distinguishing feature is its ability to produce flower buds on one-year old whips whereas flower buds on most other cultivars appear only after two or three years. Clusters of tiny, reddish purple, pea-like flowers bloom for 2-3 weeks in early spring (March-April) before the foliage emerges. Fruits are rarely produced. Semi-glossy, broadly ovate, heart-shaped leaves, 3 to 5" long and about as wide, emerge with orange-red coloration before maturing to a brilliant gold. Golden leaves gradually pale to chartreuse or yellowish green as the heat of the summer progresses. It slowly matures into a vase-shaped habit and reaches about 20 feet tall with a 30-foot spread. ‘Hearts of Gold’ received US Plant Patent #17,740 and is hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 9.