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Shrub-Tree- Western Redbud

  • Cercis occidentalis photo by Steve Ryan
    Common Name:  Western Redbud

    Botanical Name: Cercis occidentalis

    Family:  Fabaceae

    Description: Deciduous shrub to small tree native to California foothills, Arizona, Utah

    Sun: Full sun

    Water: Some summer water; regular water in desert areas

    Soil: Tolerates alkaline soil and clay

    Habit and form: Shrub to small tree with multiple trunks, from 6-20 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide; heart-shaped foliage is blue-green and provides fall colors

    Flower type: Striking pea-shaped flowers on bare branches; attractive seed pods from spring through winter

    Flower color & bloom season: Magenta flowers February through April; any one shrub will remain in flower only about 2 weeks

    Uses for plant and/or flowers: Young branches used by native American basket weavers

    Pruning time & method: Prune to shape in fall, winter, or early spring to remove dead or dying branches

    Maintenance tips: Needs a winter chill before flowers set properly

    Comments: Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies