Monday, August 13, 2012

USA - Oklahoma - Redbud Tree

Oklahoma State Tree

Sent by Kimberley, a postcrosser from Oklahoma, USA.

"Eastern redbud is a small short-lived tree in the bean family.  It is common through most of the eastern and plains states, though it does not enter the far north.  Redbud is of little use as a timber species, but it is very important as an ornamental tree.  Many cultivars have been developed.  Redbud is cultivated for its bright pink flowers, which open in spring before the tree canopy leafs out.  Redbud is entirely leafless when it blooms, and its branches, covered with tiny pink flowers, stand out in the bare forest.  A white-flowered form occurs naturally, and is also of horticultural interest.  A variety of Eastern redbud, called Texas redbud, or Cercis canadensis var. texana ( = Cercis reniformis) is found in the United States only in Texas and Oklahoma.  However, Oklahoma’s designation of the redbud as state tree is not specific to any variety, and many botanists do not recognized the distinction of these western variants.  A cultivar Cercis ‘Oklahoma’ is called the “Oklahoma Redbud.”  It was developed from plants discovered in the Arbuckle Mountians of Oklahoma.  It is distinctive for its glossy and thick leathery leaves.  This cultivar is ideal for planting in sunny dry sites.
Look for: small tree, mature at 15 feet high, reaching 40 feet at most; broad heart-shaped leaves, typically green, but may be dark reddish or highly glossy in some forms or cultivars; flowers usually bright pink or sometimes deeper rose colored or white, small and numerous, shaped like a pea flower, and emerging directly from the twigs, branches and trunk of trees prior to the leaves in spring; fruit like a thin bean pod, turning brown in the fall."(Source)

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