california native flora

a drought tolerant patio garden of mostly natives

Western Redbud Journal

Cercis Occidentalis – Western Redbud

Apr 3, 2010 - Cercis Occidentalis - Western Redbud.
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My wife and I decided to get a Western Redbud based on several accounts of it being one of the few native patio trees available to California gardeners. Not only does it do well in garden conditions even thriving as a container plant, it also gives a real sense of the changing seasons as it provides year-round interest. Spring time pink blossom is followed by large green leaves in the summer, autumn colors in the, well, autumn, and seed pods in the winter.

If you look at the image you may see some semi-circular chunks missing from some leaves. Those were made by Carpenter bees who use the leaves for building their nests (information from the Theodore Payne Foundation).

Cercis Occidentalis likes full sun and while it is drought tolerant, it responds well to a little extra water in the hot Southern California summers. This is a large deciduous shrub or multi-trunk tree and could reach 15′ tall with a similar spread. I have seen mature specimens in the wild and they really are impressively big. I don’t expect our specimen to perform quite like that, the planter isn’t going to allow unlimited root development.

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Plant Meta Data

Common NameWestern Redbud
Botanic NameCercis Occidentalis
Bloom PeriodSpring
Bloom Color
Light RequiredSun
Water ToleranceOccassional
Potential Size (H x W)20' x 20'


Click image to enlarge

Apr 3, 2010 - Cercis Occidentalis - Western Redbud.Nov 8, 2009 - Cercis Occidentalis - Western Redbud.