Western redbud, a beauty of the California garden

The western redbud (cercis occidentalis) is a tree/shrub with beautiful pink flowers in the spring.  A California native, the western redbud is a deciduous, multi-trunk tree or shrub that reaches to 6′ to 20′ tall.  Covered with flowers, it provides a showy focal point to a California garden in the Spring.

Western redbud in bloom
Western redbud in bloom

Planted 4 years ago, this western redbud is 8′ tall.  We’ve only pruned out crossing branches, so this is the natural form.

The western redbud is just a pretty when you get closer.  The silvery-gray branches set off the flowers nicely.  These photos were taken in mid-March, when the leaves were just emerging.

The flowers look like pea flowers: the western redbud is a member of the pea family.

The western redbud is low maintenance: no diseases, no insect attacks, no fertilizer, occasional water (monthly in the dry season) once established, and little pruning. The California coast has a Mediterranean climate — warm, dry summers, and mild winters — so monthly watering helps conserve water.

The western redbud is a beautiful plant that is easy to care for — a star of the California garden.


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I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

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