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Woody > Cercis > Cercis canadensis > Cercis canadensis 'Alba'

Cercis canadensis


White Eastern Redbud

Origin:  The word Cercis is a derivative of the Greek word, kerkis, a weaver's shuttle, which Theophrastus likened the tree's flattened woody fruits to.
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An outstanding deciduous tree which has a beautiful white bloom colour in spring season during its growth this tree can grow up to 6-8 metres and is a great tree to have in one's garden as a focal point tree or in the front yard. Another great characteristic of this tree is the trees leaves are shaped in a heart form which gives it a unique look when looked very closely some other great facts about this tree is the trees flowers give way to flattened seed pods that appear in midsummer. 'Royal White' was discovered in 1940 by Royal Oakes of Bluffs, Illinois. This tree is a more compact, blooms earlier and is more floriferous.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
4b - 9
Canadian Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°F)
6-8 m
4-7 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
C. Canadensis is a well detailed and known small ornamental tree, which creates a pink lavender colour flowers. Young and very small growth habit and ornamental bark and branching character with age and considered with its tendency to have short functional service for life of about fifteen years in urban landscapes such as urban areas and local towns or cities.
Flowering tree can be used as a street tree or for a home owner a great focal point tree in the front garden or back garden of a home/property.
Full sun to light shade likes a moist well drained soil but is adaptable to moist soils that are not always wet.
Upright vase growth habit in youth if grown in an open area, becoming spreading rounded to irregular shaped sometimes leaning with age.
ID Characteristic
Heart shaped leaves occur on the new growth of zigzag stems, while floral buds occur on second year wood but can arise from any branches and trunk of the tree. Ornamental orange brown bark occurs with age, as the tree transitions from a juvenile vase shape to one that is rounded or leaning (irregular).
Eastern redbud has a few pests. Stem canker, leaf spots and verticillium wilt may be a problem. The plant may experience some insect damage from leaf rollers, tree hoppers and aphids.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Bark on stems is a reddish brown to dark brown older branches have a scaly dark brown bark that exfoliates some to reveal orange colour inner bark.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Terminal-absent laterals-small blunt, blackish red somewhat flattened and appressed one or more superposed buds often present bud scales overlap.
Leaf Description
Simple leaf pattern shape of leaf is ovate the length of each leaf blade can grow up to between five to ten centimeters the colour of the leaf is usually green and will turn into a yellow colour in the autum season.
Flower Description
Small, clustered, sessile dark brown floral buds swell to purple-lavender buds in early spring, slowly opening to pink-lavender flowers. Flowers may be directly on the trunk or braches, but most are on two year old wood.
Fruit Description
Pod shape can grow in length of one to three inches the covering can be dry or hard and the colour of the pod is usually brown. Does not attract any wildlife, no significant litter problem persistent to the tree.
Notable Specimens
Fanshawe College gardnes, London, Ontario, Canada
Cultivars are bud grafted or micropropagated.
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants Material Michael A. Dirr Horticopia Inc Dr. Edward F. Gillman 2010