Look Up: The redbud

One of my favorite springtime flowering trees is the  eastern redbud (cercis canadensis).  I first noticed the redbud in abundance (and in the wild) when we lived in West Virginia and southern Ohio.   The bark of the tree has been used to treat dysentery and the flowers can be eaten in salads.  They need sunlight to produce their blossoms, but don’t care too much for heat or sun during the summer months so they do well in partial shade.  In the spring months they can often be spotted as part of the forest undergrowth, the colors of the flowers making them pop out.

The redbud is also known as the Judas Tree because it is believed to be the type of tree on which Judas hanged himself.  The eastern redbud, however, is a different type than the redbud which grows in the Mediterranean.

I had to look up to capture these photos.  Although redbuds are not the tallest trees in the forest  (or in Hershey Gardens where I took these pictures), they are still trees and taller than me.  I didn’t realize until I looked up that the buds sometimes sprout directly from the trunk of the tree.