Family: Fabaceae, legume family
Genus, species: Cercis canadensis
Leaves are heart-shaped, widest toward base, palmately veined. Leaf texture is thin and papery.
Bark is reddish-brown, smooth
Flowers are showy, bright pink, produced in clusters in mid-April before leaves are produced. Flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees.
Fruit is a long flat pod, contains flat brown seeds.
Common Uses and Interesting Facts:
Redbuds grow as large shrubs or small trees in the forest understory, and are often planted as ornamentals. Redbud roots have nitrogen-fixing bacteria in root nodules.
Cercis is from the Greek for "Circe," a Greek goddess described in Homer's Odyssey. This name is based the fact that the tree's podlike fruit looks like a weaver's shuttle. The species name, canadensis, means "from Canada."