The Eastern Redbud - Rosebud - Tree

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The Eastern Redbud tree is a familiar sight to many. Though you might not know its name or even its other well known names, its unique beauty is a sight to behold.

This tree is native to Eastern America and has a very close cousin in Europe and Asia which are much larger. It is small in comparison to most trees and thus has been described as a large bush. It produces a beautiful array of flowers in spring before most spring trees show their colors. The dogwood is about the only other tree that blooms in that period around April. You could describe the flowers as showy since they brighten up any landscape with pink and white blossoms. Its colors give it a “blushing” appearance. The flowers usually grow very close to the bark with leaves that are attractive with a heart shape and tend to be very large.

The uniqueness of this tree comes more from its shape. It is very irregular and tends to be twisted. It grows about 20 feet high and up to 30 feet wide. It is a fast growing tree with growth up to 2 feet a year. This makes it a great addition to your landscaping.

First cultivated in 1811, it was noted for its beauty by the early American settlers. Another attraction of the tree is the low maintenance that it requires. Though not needing constant attention, the tree is very sensitive to damage. Ironically, it takes a lot to damage it, any little damage can be devastating. If placed in shade and taken care of, it can live up to 30 years.

You might know this tree by other names. Some call it the Eastern Rosebud. Others call it the Canadian Rosebud. But the most infamous name is the Judas-Tree. Tradition holds that it was the Redbud that Judas Iscariot in the Bible hung himself after betraying Jesus. The tree was so embarrassed by the part that it played in the story that it forever blushes and grows in a such a twisted manner that it could never be used like that again. Thus, we have the blushing tree known as the Redbud with its twisted and strange looking limbs.

As with so many other plants, there are many more uses than ornamental for it. Bees love their delicious nectar. The flowers can be used in salads or in the making of pickled relish. They can also be fried and eaten. They have a nutty flavor when fried.

The fruits of the tree resemble peas and are eatable. But we are not the only ones who might find these fruits good tasting. Cardinals, deer, and squirrels are just a few that go nuts over the fruit.

Native Indians were very familiar with uses the tree. They used the inner bark of the twigs to produce a dark yellow dye. The bark was used as a tea that was used to treat whooping cough, fevers, dysentery, and congestion.

The Eastern Redbud is a beautiful tree full of history and beauty. It was honored as the state tree of the state of Oklahoma where you can find it growing throughout the land.

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Comments 5 comments

Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Very nice hub! Thanks!


Tiggerinma profile image

Tiggerinma 6 years ago from Massachusetts

Cercis canadensis or eastern Redbud may well be one of my favorite understory trees. I grew up in Iowa and since this tree is such an earlier bloomer, I have often seen it with its' pink blossoms all along the branches that have been covered with a light say quarter inch of snow.

I now live in New England, and am often surprised to see that the redbuds here actually seem to bloom two or three weeks later into the season that they did out in the Midwest.

Not only do they have almost a natural artistic shape to their often horizontal branching, but the branches themselves nearly show a muscularity within their structure.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 5 years ago from United States

Thanks for an informative hub. I just love redbud and the color it adds to the landscape in early spring.


celeBritys4africA profile image

celeBritys4africA 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I voted up and I find the hub very useful.


Thelmaann 4 years ago

I bought 5 rose bud trees to use as privacy between property....4 of the trees have reddish/purple leaves & one has green leaves. Am curious as to why? Anyone out there with a suggestion. They are all the same height.

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