Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Welcoming the Judas Tree

It started a bit more than a week ago; the tree that had been plain gray branches began forming small dense reddish-pinkish clusters.  Exactly a week later, those clusters had swelled & begun to look like beads of wax.  & then yesterday, it really began to bloom.

Cercis canadensis is actually in the legume family (that's right- peas & pulses), but it is a tree.  & what a tree!  Although the top of its habitat is in New Jersey & the western-most point in Texas, I had not seen redbud -or certainly not in enough abundance to remember- until we moved to Florida.  Now I cannot get enough of them.  They can be hard to find, mostly because they are fast-enough growing that the plant sold by nurseries rarely looks like much.

Do not be deceived by descriptions with words like "weedy"; this is a healthy happy tree.  There are not many widespread applications & virtually none are commercially viable (except as an ornamental & then it gets low marks for that because the flowering period is brief).

Apparently a springtime shower of flowers,  a food source for wildlife & shade in the hot summer is just not enough to make a tree worthwhile to the landscaping public.  You can keep your endlessly flowering trees, those deciduous things that really only lose their leaves when the new ones push through, & everything else you can find in every nursery.  I will be napping under the Judas Tree.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reminding me of this tree. We had one in our yard in Kentucky and I haven't forgotten it.