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 leaves are alternate, entire-margined, with a pleasing cordate shape.

Redbud is an understory tree, most evident in late April, when it explodes with pink pea-like flowers.

Redbud stands out when it is in flower.

The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, with a typical pea family (Fabaceae) structure, and a simple one-chambered fruit, a legume.

Redbud is a member of the legume family, with pealike flowers and fruits.

In the winter. Redbud twigs are narrow, with smal ova; leaf scars that are alternate ikn arrangement. .

Surprise! Redbud twigs have red buds.
Well, reddish, anyway.

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.”

<-return to full species list page (link)
<–return to field trip page (link)