A Redbud Garden

appalachian-red-up-close-jpg.jpgThe Redbud Garden, one of the newest of the beautiful botanical gardens in Springfield, Missouri, showed its colors for the first time in the spring of 2011.
      The Redbud has been a favorite flowering tree in America for many generations. Indeed, it was grown and greatly admired by George Washington, who wrote about it in his diaries, and Thomas Jefferson, who also planted it at Monticello.
      The Redbud Garden displays the beloved tree in 27 varieties that include both new and rare.
In nature the Redbud is an understory tree and so thrives in either full sun or partial shade. As you can see here, it does beautifully in the Ozarks.
      Created by Dr. Bill Roston, the Redbud Garden contains a total of 72 trees and shrubs. It's located just southeast of the Botanical Center building in the Springfield Botanical Gardens. Anchored by a wood gazebo, it measures 120 feet by 100 feet.
      Please note that the Redbuds shown are in the early stages of growth and not yet showing their mature shapes.
      The Springfield Botanical Gardens can be visited in person at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield.

      Note: All of the Redbuds in the Redbud Garden were funded by a generous contribution from the Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri. The garden's other plants were provided by the Friends of the Garden, the volunteer organization that raises funds for and creates and maintains many of the botanical gardens.
The Early Garden

Photographed in early April, 2011, its first year in existence, the Redbud Garden was just beginning to grow.

'Appalachian Red'

As shown at the top of the page, the uniquely brilliant red-pink flowers of the 'Appalachian Red' Redbud make it a spectacular presence in the garden or landscape. Indeed, no other redbud approaches this variety in intensity or vibrancy of color. Tolerating heat and humidity, and virtually disease-free, it can grow to 25 feet tall and as wide. 

'Appalachian Red' Up Close

A closer view of 'Appalachian Red' is even more revealing of its intense coloration.
The story is that this amazing tree was first discovered on a roadside in Maryland, and then developed into a commercially viable plant by the University of Tennessee

The Whitebud

The Whitebud, sometimes called the White Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Alba') in early spring bears a great profusion of pristine white blossoms, making it a superb focal point in any garden or landscape. Its heart-shaped leaves emerge bronze, then turn green and become yellow in autumn.

The Whitebud Up Close

A closer view of the Whitebud. This remarkable tree can grow to 30 feet tall and as wide and is extremely hardy down to -20 degrees. It also tolerates a wide range of soils, is largely problem-free, and prefers medium moisture. Other common names include White-Flower Alba Eastern Redbud, Whiteflowered Redbud, and White-Flowering Redbud.

'Ace of Hearts'

The 'Ace of Hearts' Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Ace of Hearts') features an abundance of light-pinkish-violet flowers in early spring, followed by distinctively small, semi-glossy heart-shaped green leaves that in autumn turn an attractive yellow. This engaging variety can grow to 12 feet tall by 15 feet wide.

'Ace of Hearts Up Close'

A closer view of the beautiful coloration of the 'Ace of Hearts' Redbud's blossoms.
Considered an outstanding specimen tree for its color, foliage, and vase-like habit, it thrives in either full sun or partial shade. Though drought-tolerant, it performs best with regular watering.

The beautiful 'Traveler' Redbud (Cercis texensis 'Traveler', sometimes spelled 'Traveller') is the newest of the redbuds commonly called Weeping Redbuds. It features graceful, arching branches that appear to cascade from the trunk. Growing to 6 feet tall and 12 feet wide, it makes an outstanding specimen in smaller gardens or accent in the landscape. Considered a rarity at this point in time, 'Traveler' tends to sell out quickly, so if you find one on the market place, don't think about it too long. Common names include Redbud Traveler, Redbud Traveller, Weeping Redbud, and Weeping Texas Redbud.

Lavendar Twist
lavendar-twist-redbud-jpg.jpgLavendar Twist is the trade name for another marvelous Weeping Redbud. Superb wherever it is grown, it features a uniquely contorted habit with a great profusion of lavendar-purple blossoms in early spring. In fall the leaves turn an attractive gold. The tree shown is just beginning but when mature may reach 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Lavendar Twist's varietal name is actually 'Covey' (Cercis canadensis 'Covey'), in honor of Miss Cornelia Covey, the woman in whose yard it first appeared.  
Note: To read the marvelous story of Lavendar Twist's coming-to-be, with photos, simply click here. You won't be sorry.


The 'Avondale' Redbud (Cercis chinensis 'Avondale') is notable for its profuse bloom, slightly darker flowers, attractive rounded habit, and glossy green foliage. Given regular watering and full sun, it can grow to 12 feet tall with a similar spread. Some gardeners describe this New Zealand discovery as "the showiest of all redbuds," while others award that title to 'Appalachian Red.' In any event, 'Avondale' is an outstanding specimen tree. Note: One common name is Chinese Redbud.

White-Flowered Redbud

We have to admit we're a little confused about this White-Flowered Redbud (okay, okay, a lot confused). Some identify it as Cercis canadensis 'Alba', a specimen of which is shown above, and others as White Flowered Chinese Redbud (Cercis chinensis 'Shirobana'). Yet others have other names. For now, if you don't mind, we'll just stick with this pic and hope you agree it's lovely.

'Forest Pansy'

The 'Forest Pansy' Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy') is perhaps most notable for its gorgeous bright-purple heart-shaped leaves that in autumn turn shades of reddish purple and orange. The flowers are rosy pink. Given full sun to part shade, this tree can grow to 30 feet tall with a 35-foot spread.

'Texas White'

The 'Texas White' Redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis 'Texas White') is a highly desired but commercially rather rare variety that features dense clusters of bright, pristine white, fragrant flowers in early spring and highly glossy green foliage. A variant of the purple-flowered Texas Redbud native to Texas and New Mexico, it has exceptional drought tolerance. The habit is compact and growth is reported to reach 15 feet tall with a 25-foot spread. Our opinion: gorgeous.

A Mysterious Beauty

We've no idea of the variety of this beautiful Redbud, as the label had broken off without leaving a single clue behind. We had to include it, though, for its blossom color, purple leaves, and lovely vase-shaped habit. We'll do our best to get a varietal name a.s.a.p. Honest.

A Striking Companion
summer-wine-ninebark-jpg.jpgAmong the complementary plants in the Redbud Garden is this dramatic 'Summer Wine' Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolious 'Summer Wine'), which features rich, dark purple, almost black leaves and engaging, button-like white flowers with a reflective pinkish cast. An award-winning Proven Winners plant, it prefers sun, is easy to grow, and can reach 6 feet tall and 7 feet wide. A garden centerpiece, it's also effective as a centerpiece in container plantings and also provides excellent cut flowers. 

Tiger Eyes Sumac
tiger-eyes-sumac-jpg.jpgTiger Eyes Sumac (Rhus typhina 'Tigereye Bailtiger') is a standout in the garden for its lovely, finely cut, pale chartreuse foliage and graceful habit. Given full sun, the plant can grow upright and rounded to 6 feet tall and as wide. Its flowers are yellow-green and lead to dark red fruit. In fall the leaves turn yellow, orange, and intense red. Common names include Tiger Eye Sumac, Staghorn Sumac, and Velvet Sumac.

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 Wedding Ready
The Redbud Garden and its lovely gazebo can also serve any time of the year as a beautiful setting for a wedding. Here it's decked out for a midsummer ceremony. gazebo-sign-jpg.jpgThe rental can be arranged simply by calling the phone number on the sign next to the gazebo and dahlias.

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