Scientific: Cercis canadensis var. mexicana (Synonym: Cercis mexicana)
Common: Mexican red bud
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Origin: Limestone soils in and along shaded canyons and slopes from the Trans Pecos of southwest Texas into northern Mexico.

Pronounciation: SIR-sis can-a-DEN-sis variety mex-i-CA-na

Hardiness zones
USDA 6-9 (must have winter cold to gain deciduous habit

Landscape Use: Used primarily as a late winter accent tree, patio tree for mesic, oasis, and xeric (must be watered though) garden themes, bonsai.

Form & Character: Rounded but not perfectly symmetrical, informal and delicate, refined.

Growth Habit: Woody deciduous shrub or small tree, up to 15 feet tall with equal spread.

Foliage/Texture: Leaves, alternate, deciduous, oval to cordate, 2 to 6 inches wide, simple, dark green with an intricate palmate patterns of venation, leathery with sometimes undulating margins. Leaves can develop a glossy appearance with age; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Deep rose edible flowers borne in 4 inch clusters, early spring before the annuial re-leaf occurs. Fruit are a brownish-red pod, up to 3 inches long.........UUGGGGLY!.

Seasonal Color: A beautiful full display of flowers in February and March.

Temperature: Tolerant, especially of desert cold. Premature foliar senescence occurs when planted in the hottest lower desert locations. Mexican red bud thrives in high desert landscapes and landscapes of upper elevation town and cities of Arizona. Cold hardy to -5oF.

Light: Full sun except light shade in low desert sites.

Soil: Tolerant, but should be well drained.

Watering: Regular to some drought

Pruning: Young trees should be rigorously trained to develop a strong schaffold branch architecture.

Propagation: Seed, named cultivars can be grafted or propagated by cuttings in summer under mist. Micropropagation techniques for Mexican red bud are also possible.

Disease and pests: Root and stem rots in moist or poorly drained soils.

Additional comments: Mexican redbud was classified by George Engelman (1809-1844), a physician and botanist from St. Louis, MO. Mexican red bud produces abundant brown seedpods that can create a litter problem. The name "redbud" is because the inner bark of this great small tree bears a reddish coloring. It was highly valued by Native American basket makers as a source of natural pattern contrast without the need to dye the fibers.

Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree) is another excellent redbud that is well adapted to western gardens.