Monday, May 05, 2008

Meet . . . Cercis!

Last week I went to Denver Botanic Gardens on a photo safari and was immediately drawn to all of the beautiful blooming Cercis canadensis, or eastern redbud. These small trees, hardy to Zone 4, are native to the Eastern US but are also found as far west as Texas and Northern Mexico. They are fairly adaptive to our alkaline soil, but it must be moderately moist and well drained; try planting in a slightly raised area in well amended soil (Unfortunately, I have not been successful growing Cercis canadensis here in the sandy soil of my home garden.) Cercis canadensis is one of the few flowering trees for our area that tolerates light shade.
The distinctive pinkish purple flower color is beautiful paired with any Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) or white flowering ornamental trees like Malus, Prunus, or Amelanchier. However, keep it away from brick buildings with any kind of orange cast---the clashing colors are horrific!

Keep your eyes open the next few days and see how many Cercis canadensis you can spot! These photos were taken in DBG's Japanese garden.


No Rain said...

This is a gorgeous tree! I'll have to tell my son about it, as they were looking for another tree for their Denver garden.

Pam/Digging said...

That top photo is really beautiful. I need to visit the Denver Botanic Garden next time we head up to Estes Park.

Sometimes the eastern redbud is sold here in Austin. But Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) is more drought-tolerant and does better for us.

jocelyn said...

Denver Botanic Gardens is a "must see" for visitors to the Mile high City. The Japanese garden is beautiful and serene, but the real show-stopper is the rock alpine garden. DBG is also known for its collection of water lilies, both hardy and tropical...