Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hello, My Name is...Western Redbud

Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, March 2015

Hi! My name is Western Redbud, but the scientific folk call me Cercis occidentalis. I am much beloved in the native plant community because I look great year round, when properly maintained, and I'm the center of attention in early Spring when my abundant pink flowers start brightening the landscape.

Vivid clusters of flowers in early March

 I can get quite large -- 15' high and 10' wide -- and can be pruned (ouch!) to work as a small tree or a broad multi-trunked shrub. I do best in climates with hot summers and cold winters (inland), and prefer no supplemental water once established. Full or part sun will work just fine. I lose my heart-shaped leaves in the Fall, leaving my limbs bare until the blooms appear in early March.

Fall foliage on the Western Redbud

My buddies in the yard are ceanothus, island bush poppy, and monkeyflowers to name a few (I'm pretty popular, you know). We put on quite a show when we're all blooming at the same time. 

Island bush poppy, Western Redbud and 'Dark Star' ceanothus, underplanted with 'Bee's Bliss' sage

Well enough about me...

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