Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut, Clay Soils Attracts: Wildlife
The earliest known documentation of the native Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) was by American botanist John Custis in a letter to the English botanist and collector Peter Collins on in 1735.
However, its cousin (Cercis siliquastrum) was recorded much earlier when it was noted in the Bible that Judas Iscariot hung himself from the tree. This is why another common name for the redbud is a Judas-Tree, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Notes on the State of Virginia in 1781.
The Eastern redbud is a small deciduous tree that can reach heights of 35 feet. The leaves are broadly heart shaped with a papery texture and a short point. Redbud's bright lilac pink to red pea-like flowers appear in clusters along older branches before the leaves in April or May, and are a welcome herald of spring in many regions.
The tree is a host plant for 24 species of butterflies and moths in the greater Jefferson County area including the dark and majestic Spicebush Swallowtail. The redbud attracts 19 different genera of birds which includes hummingbirds and finches.