COMMON NAME: Eastern Redbud
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cercis canadensis
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.
A cluster of brand new buds which appeared in February.
Very early March some flowers are beginning to emerge from the buds and a cluster of new leaves has begun to sprout.
A few days later, blossoms have bloomed!
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 new flowers. Sometimes I pick them as they are like this and eat them straight from the tree.
These buds are edible when fresh and young. When they get older they are too fibrous and tough to chew.
Sometimes pods will be primarily reddish in color, sometimes they remain green with just a little red tint.
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.
This leaf may be old, but it’s never too old to say “I Love You.” (notice the heart shape)
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.