Eastern Redbud

COMMON NAME:  Eastern Redbud
SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Cercis canadensis
FAMILY:  Fabaceae
ORDER:  Fabales

An eastern redbud tree in full bloom on our acre in Texas. Edible wild food. Foraging.

Eastern Redbud Tree. 26 Mar 2015. Click to enlarge.

Taken a few days ago, this is one of the medium-sized of its kind on the property. Thousands of blooms are out which attract a few types of bees, wasps and butterflies. This tree is in the legume/bean/pea family.

Both its flowers and young pods are edible. The flowers are nice eaten raw by themselves or in a salad, the young pods can be eaten raw or can be cooked. I’ve used the pods like snow peas in a vegetable stir-fry.

Small new buds on the eastern redbud tree.

Brand New Buds. 21 Feb 2012. Click to enlarge.

A cluster of brand new buds which appeared in February.

Young buds and leaves on an Eastern redbud tree.

Young Buds and New Leaves. 1 Mar 2012. Click to enlarge.

Very early March some flowers are beginning to emerge from the buds and a cluster of new leaves has begun to sprout.

New flowers on an eastern redbud tree.

New Blossoms. 4 Mar 2012. Click to enlarge.

A few days later, blossoms have bloomed!

New leaves opened up on an eastern redbud tree.

New Young Leaves. 28 Mar 2012. Click to enlarge.

A very young cluster of leaves after a bit of expansion. The Eastern Redbud is considered a precocious plant since the flowers bloom before the leaves come out.


A cluster of eastern redbud blooms in late march of this year.

Cluster of Blooms 25 Mar 2015. Click to enlarge.

A cluster of new flowers. Sometimes I pick them as they are like this and eat them straight from the tree.

Young pods on an eastern redbud tree.

Young Pods. 26 Mar 2012. Click to enlarge.

These buds are edible when fresh and young. When they get older they are too fibrous and tough to chew.

Red pods on an eastern redbud tree.

Red Pods. 5 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

Sometimes pods will be primarily reddish in color, sometimes they remain green with just a little red tint.


An eastern redbud tree with full leaves and semi-young pods.

Redbud Tree with Leaves and Pods. 25 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

If you click to enlarge this photo, you can see what the fully-formed leaves look like and the number of pods which can be produced. This is one of the mid-size Redbuds on the acregrowing among other types of foliage like Spreading Hedge Parsley, Texas Nightshade, Fragrant Sumac, Vines and other stuff.

An old leaf of an eastern redbud tree.

An Old Leaf. 25 Oct 2012. Click to enlarge.

This leaf may be old, but it’s never too old to say “I Love You.” (notice the heart shape)


An old pod on an eastern redbud tree on our acre in texas.

An Old Pod from Previous Year. 17 Feb 2012. Click to enlarge.

Speaking of old, here is an old pod which was one of many still clinging to a Redbud Tree from the previous year.

A Few Details About This Species:

Range Southern bits of Pennsylvania to Northwest Florida, west to mid-Texas and north through eastern Kansas and southeast Nebraska. It also grows in in a good portion of central Mexico.
This species just barely makes it west enough to reside on our acre in Texas.

Habitat Full to partial sun. Sometimes as undergrowth in forests, sometimes in hedgerows. It needs a reasonable amount of water in order to thrive.

Edible? – Flowers, pods and seeds are edible raw or cooked.

Other – The leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera (Order of Butterflies and Moths). The Redbud is popular as a cultivated plant in parks and gardens.

More Photos and Information At:

Merriwether’s Foraging Texas website
Green Deane’s Eat The Weeds website

Related Links on this site:

– All Plant Posts
All Flower Posts
All Edible Plants
–  Plant Index

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