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Flowering redbuds are a stunning tree for any landscape. The redbud is one of our most familiar spring booming trees. The redbud will bloom about a week before dogwood trees and usually are in full bloom well before most other spring flowering trees. Redbuds, Cercis, are small trees that seldom get over 30 feet tall. Redbuds are easy to grow and they will adapt well to any soils except swampy or very wet soils. Redbuds will flower in moderate shade but produce the most blossoms in full sun.
Redbuds are in the pea family and show some of those characteristics of that family. The flowers have the typical form of a pea and the flowers appear and rise directly from the branches before any green leaves appears. Redbud leaves are distinctive. They are smooth, glossy, and dark green. The leaves make the redbud a very attractive landscape plant for the summer season.
The redbud is a deciduous tree and it produces wood that is heavy and hard. Redbuds are also known as the Judas tree. According to legend, Judas Iscariot was hanged himself on a redbud species. Bark of the redbud has been used an astringent in the treatment of dysentery. Flowers of the redbud can be put into salads or fried and eaten. The seeds produced by the redbud are eaten by some wildlife such as Cardinals, Bobwhites, and deer.