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The foliage is attractive during the growing season, the yellow fall color can be quite nice, and the reddish bark adds to the ornamental appeal during the dormant season. But without question, spring is the high point for the Eastern Redbud. Brilliant, purple-pink flowers in profusion create a party atmosphere that begins in early to mid April and persists for as long as four weeks.

The name Redbud is a misnomer. Neither the buds nor the flowers are red.

In the last ten years, the cultivars have multiplied. Weeping forms and cultivars with foliage sporting shades of purple, yellow, orange and variegated white have taken the market by storm. They can't even let the flowers alone; there's a cultivar with white flowers. (What do you call that? A whitebud?) While some of these forms are exciting and eye-catching in the formal landscape, the species is a great tree that may blend more naturally in the garden.

We also grow 'Avondale,' which is a cultivar of the Chinese Redbud. Chinese Redbud is even more gaudy than our native Redbud with rich pink flowers in profusion, covering not only the ends of the branches but also the stems.