Western Redbud- (Cercis occidentalis)

Western Redbud- (Cercis occidentalis)

Western Redbud is a small tree or shrub native to the western U.S.

It can easily be identified in the early spring by its bright violet red blooms. Now is the perfect time to see the splashes of color in the landscape.

These blooms are edible and can be added to a salad to give it just a hint of citrus flavoring.

Western Redbud is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae), and that is demonstrated by the pods that appear on the plant after flowering. All members of the pea family are known as nitrogen fixing plants, meaning they add nitrogen to the soil via the aid of bacteria attached to their roots.

Many indigenous groups in California still use the twigs of this plant to make baskets, and even prune them to encourage new growth.

Western Redbud is a wonderful addition to any landscape for native wildlife habitat, edible food, and drought tolerant gardening.