Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis

Eastern redbud in bloom

The pink blossoms of the eastern redbud are among the first splashes of color in springtime forests. The flowers appear before the leaves, which makes them more visible to bees and butterflies. This native understory tree is usually small and often multi-trunked, with its hard but brittle wood not commonly used commercially. The flowers are edible by humans, and taste like peas. The seeds, born in bean-like pods, are food sources for songbirds and are occasionally eaten by small mammals. The Cherokee boiled the outer bark to make a tea to treat whooping cough, and the inner bark and root bark have been used as folk remedies to treat fevers and digestive disorders. The eastern redbud is sometimes called the Judas Tree because it is related to an Asian species of the same name that by tradition was the tree upon which Judas Iscariot hanged himself.

Sponsor: Chuck & Gail Blunt, in honor of their grandchildren

Sponsor: Bill & Martha Gilliam, in honor of their grandchildren

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