HOW TO IDENTIFY REDBUDS IN TEXAS
Redbuds are deciduous, often multi-trunked small trees in the genus Cercis and are a member of the pea family, Fabaceae. Taxonomists consider both the Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) and the Mexican redbud (Cercis canadensis var. mexicana) to be natural localized variations of the Eastern redbud.
EASTERN REDBUD (Cercis canadensis canadensis) is found in its typical form in East Texas, in well-drained acidic soil, with regular moisture. It can be identified by its medium sized, dull green leaves, which, like all redbuds, emerge after the blossoms have fallen.
TEAXAS REDBUD (Cercis canadensis texensis, syn C. reniformis) is found in Central Texas and southern Oklahoma tolerates drier, more alkaline soils. Identified by its medium sized, glossy green leaves with rounded or blunt apices and wavy margins. Formerly known as Cercis reniformis, the leaves often having a kidney shape or reniform outline. Texas Redbud is usually smaller and more compact than Eastern Redbud.
MEXICAN REDBUD (Cercis canadensis mexicana) is found in west Texas and northern Mexico. It is extremely drought tolerant, with smaller leaves and ruffled, wavier margins than the var texensis. The leaf pedicels and young branchlets of Mexican Redbud are densely woolly-tomentose and leaves slightly so. No doubt intermediate forms exist in various locations. Some botanist consider Mexican Redbud to be merely a hairy form of Texas Redbud instead of a distinct variety of Eastern Redbud. However, since forms resembling Mexican Redbud have been found in Dallas and Hood Counties it may be more likely to have derived from Eastern Redbud.
All of these native redbuds have beautiful flowers in early spring.
Cercis canadensis range map:
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