Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Cercis canadensis var. mexicana:
Mexican Redbud

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Form: A shrub, or with pruning, a tree.
Leaf retention: Deciduous.
Growth rate: Slow.
Mature Size: 15-18' high and wide.
Flowers: Pink, appearing before leaf out, may persist as leaves develop, edible. The red buds stay closed for two weeks before opening, giving this plant is name.
Bloom: Mid winter to spring, depending on location.
Fruit: Seed pod, edible when young, drying to brown.
Leaves: Green, heart-shaped, smooth with undulating margins, leathery, turning yellow in the fall. This plant provides medium shade.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: This is one of the few members of the Legume family that does not have root nodules and does not perform nitrogen-fixing.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, bees, and birds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 6-9.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade.
Water after becoming established: Once or twice a month. Less water needed in part shade.
Soil: Tolerant, pH 5.6-8.5 (acidic to alkaline).
Prune: Pruning is required to develop a strong structure.
Litter: Seedpods, leaves in fall.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental, shade. The edible flowers and buds can be used in salads. The young seed pods can be eaten raw, sautéed, or boiled.

This plant is a member of the Legume family (Fabaceae). It is more heat and drought tolerant, and smaller, than the Eastern and Texas Redbuds.

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Cercis canadensis var. mexicana: Mexican Redbud - flowers

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana: Mexican Redbud - seed pods

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana: Mexican Redbud - leaves

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana: Mexican Redbud

Latest update: February, 2019
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