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Western Redbud
Cercis occidentalis
  
About Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis) 52 Nurseries Carry This Plant The Western Redbud is a small deciduous tree or shrub found in the foothills and mountains of California. In the northern, rainier part of its range, it grows more often on dry slopes in mountain foothills. In the southern and drier part of its range, it grows most often near near higher elevation creeks, canyon bottoms and other moister areas. The thin, shiny brown branches bear shiny heart-shaped leaves which are light green early in the season and darken as they age. Leaves on plants at higher elevation may turn gold or red as the weather cools. The showy flowers develop in the spring and are bright pink or magenta, and grow in clusters all over the shrub, making the plant very colorful and noticeable in the landscape. The shrub bears 3 inch long brown legume pods which are very thin and dry.

This plant is easy to grow just about anywhere in northern California that doesn't get below 15 degrees. In southern California, best to plant Western Redbuds near seasonal streams, springs, damp areas or irrigated areas. Additionally, this plant needs four season climates with a cool winter to thrive, so best not to plant near the immediate coast in southern California.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
10 - 20 ft tall
10 - 15 ft wide

Form
Form
Rounded

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Moderate

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Fragrance
Fragrance
Slight

Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink, Yellow, Red

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Winter, Spring

Wildlife Supported
 
Birds

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade, Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / week once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 15 - 20° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Adaptable. Tolerates Sodic Soil. Soil PH: 5.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hummingbird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Bee Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Bush Anemone (Carpenteria californica), Silktassel Bush (Garrya elliptica), Deer Grass (Muhlenberia rigens), Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii), Oaks (Quercus species), Elderberry (Sambuccus nigra), Sages (Salvia species), Ceanothus species

Maintenance
Maintenance
Responds well to pruning/occasional hard pruning.

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: Hot water and 2 mos. stratification.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*, 8*, 9*, 12, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Slopes and canyons, often near streams, as part of chaparral or foothill woodland

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 5.6" - 97.2", Summer Precipitation: 0.21" - 2.65", Coldest Month: 28.2" - 54.4", Hottest Month: 49.8" - 83.3", Humidity: 0.31" - 34.53", Elevation: -1" - 10807"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Canadensis var. texensis,Canadensis orbiculata


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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