redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Fabaceae, the legume family
How to recognize redbud. Aww, how romantic, leaves like so many Valentine’s hearts. Or maybe they’re kidneys…less sentimental but probably more anatomically correct.
Redbud is an understory tree, most evident in late April, when it explodes with pink pea-like flowers.
The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, with a typical pea family (Fabaceae) structure, and a simple one-chambered fruit, a legume.
In the winter. Redbud twigs are narrow, with smal ova; leaf scars that are alternate ikn arrangement. .
Where to find redbud. E. Lucy Braun, in The Woody Plants of Ohio (1961, 1989; The Ohio State University Press) tell us that this species “In Ohio, infrequent or local in the northern third of the state, more common southward; abundant on calcareous soils in southwestern Ohio, where it sometimes is the dominant tree of young second-growth stands, es-ecially on slopes of southerly exposure.”