Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

General: Pea Family (Fabaceae). Western or California redbud is a leguminous shrub that grows from 7 to 20 feet tall with a dense rounded crown that almost reaches the ground. Western redbud is recognized as Cercis occidentalis in older floras. The leaves are simple, thick, round or reniform, and cordate at the base, and have from seven to nine prominent veins. They are winter deciduous; their autumn display of yellow turning to red and brown rivaling that of some eastern hardwoods. The striking pea-shaped flowers appear before the leaves, in small fascicles along the branches. Each flower has five petals that range in color from magenta pink to reddish purple. Pollination is by bumblebees (Bombus sp.) and orchard mason bees (Osmia lignaria). Although the pink sprays can be seen from February through April, any one shrub will remain in flower only about two weeks. In autumn the branches often bear many clusters of pointed, flat, vary thin pods, the upper suture with a conspicuous winged margin. In ripening, the pods are first purple and then russet-brown, each containing an average of seven hard, bean-like seeds. The mature pods persist into the next winter. Known from the southwest U.S.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Alternative names

Redbud, California redbud; also recognized as Cercis occidentalis Torr. ex Gray in The Jepson Manual (Hickman 1993) and Cercis occidentalis var. orbiculata (Greene) Tidestrom in other floras.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

States or Provinces

(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
AZ CA NV UT

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [14]:

3 Southern Pacific Border

4 Sierra Mountains

6 Upper Basin and Range

7 Lower Basin and Range

12 Colorado Plateau
  • 14. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

California redbud occurs in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah [35,38,40,54,55,76]. Its occurrence in Arizona is restricted to a few scattered locations in canyons and mountains in upper desert and woodland zones. It is common in the Grand Canyon [49]. In Utah, California redbud is restricted to a few scattered locations in the southern part of the state [26]. The U.S. Geological Survey provides a distributional map of California redbud.
  • 35. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 76. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 40. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 26. Erdman, Kimball S. 1961. Distribution of the native trees of Utah. Brigham Young University Science Bulletin: Biological Series. 11: 1-34. [35781]
  • 49. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1950. Southwestern trees: A guide to the native species of New Mexico and Arizona. Agricultural Handbook 9. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 109 p. [20317]
  • 54. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 55. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 38. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Cercis canadensis var. orbiculata (Greene) Barneby:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
  • Cronquist, A. J., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, Reveal & P. K. Holmgren. 1989. Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A., FABALES. 3B: 1–279. In A. J. Cronquist, A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal & P. K. Holmgren (eds.) Intermount. Fl. Hafner Pub. Co., New York.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/35722 External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Cercis occidentalis var. orbiculata (Greene) Tidestr.:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Cercis occidentalis Torr. ex A. Gray:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site. Native to California, Arizona, and Utah, redbud is found in at least five plant communities including oak woodland, chaparral, mixed conifer forest, riparian woodland, and closed cone forest.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: shrub, tree

This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available [35,40,54,55,76].

California redbud is a native [44], deciduous [35,44,72] shrub-tree [11,36,48,49,54,64]. It can appear as a tree with arching canopies that almost reach the ground or a considerably shorter, many-stemmed shrub [68,72]. Plants generally occur singly, but they may form thickets in riparian zones [36].

California redbud plants are commonly from 7 to 20 feet (2-5 m) tall [35,54,55,76]. The tallest California redbud on record is 29 feet (8.8 m) [11]. The stems are clustered and erect [36,54,55] and predominantly leafless [44]. During the 1st year of life, California redbud stems are covered in hairs [49]. The inflorescence is a 2- to 5-flowered raceme [35]. The flowers are 8 to 12 mm long [54,55] and appear before the leaves [20,40,76]. The seedpod is a flat legume from 2 to 4 inches (4-9 cm) long and 0.8 to 1 inch (2-2.5 cm) wide [54,55]. Each seedpod contains 7 seeds [72] from 3 to 4 mm in diameter [54,55]

California redbud is intermediately tolerant of flooding in semiarid riparian zones. Intermediately tolerant is defined as a species that "is able to survive flooding for periods between 1 to 3 months during the growing season. The root systems of these plants may produce few new roots or will be dormant during the flooded period" [75].

  • 35. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 76. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 40. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 20. Ciesla, Bill. 1981. The outriders of spring: Redbud. American Forests. 87(4): 22-27. [16170]
  • 36. Hopkins, Milton. 1942. Cercis in North America. Rhodora. 44(522): 193-211. [62468]
  • 44. Keeley, Melanie. 2005. Propagation protocol for California redbud (Cercis orbiculata Greene). Native Plants Journal. 6(2): 131. [62447]
  • 48. Liang, Yan; Harris, Jeanne M. 2005. Response of root branching to abscisic acid is correlated with nodule formation both in legumes and nonlegumes. American Journal of Botany. 92(10): 1675-1683. [62441]
  • 49. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1950. Southwestern trees: A guide to the native species of New Mexico and Arizona. Agricultural Handbook 9. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 109 p. [20317]
  • 54. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 55. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 64. Sampson, Arthur W.; Jespersen, Beryl S. 1963. California range brushlands and browse plants. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Division of Agricultural Sciences; California Agricultural Experiment Station, Extension Service. 162 p. [3240]
  • 68. Smith, Nevin. 1986. Growing natives: more from the chaparral. Fremontia. 14(3): 34-35. [62443]
  • 75. Walters, M. Alice; Teskey, Robert O.; Hinckley, Thomas M. 1980. Impact of water level changes on woody riparian and wetland communities. Volume VII: Mediterranean Region; Western Arid and Semi-Arid Region. Biological Services Program: FWS/OBS-78/93. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 84 p. [52899]
  • 11. Banner, Valerie A.; Stein, William I. 2003. Cercis L. redbud. Bonner, Franklin T., tech. coord. Woody plant seed manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (Producer). Available: http://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/wpsm/Cercis.pdf [2006, August 2]. [62844]
  • 72. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2006. PLANTS database (2006), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Perennial, Trees, Shrubs, Woody throughout, Stems erect or ascending, Stems 1-2 m tall, Stems greater than 2 m tall, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, Leaves absent at flowering time, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules deciduous, Stipules free, Leaves simple, or appearing so, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets 1, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Leaves coriaceous, Flowers in axillary cl usters or few-floweredracemes, 2-6 flowers, Inflorescence umbel-like or subumbellate, Inflorescence cauliferous, Inflorescence axillary, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx glabrous, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals clawed, Petals pinkish to rose, Petals red, Petals blue, lavander to purple, or violet, Banner petal ovoid or obovate, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Wing tips obtuse or rounded, Keel tips obtuse or rounded, not beaked, Stamens 9-10, Stamens completely free, separate, Filaments hairy, villous, Style terete, Fruit a legume, Fruit stipitate, Fruit unilocular, Fruit freely dehiscent, Fruit tardily or weakly dehiscent, Fruit elongate, straight, Fruits winged, carinate, or samaroid, Fruit or valves persistent on stem, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit 3-10 seeded, Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Type Information

Holotype for Cercis orbiculata Greene
Catalog Number: US 485475
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): L. N. Goodding
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Diamond Valley., Utah, United States, North America
  • Holotype: Greene, E. L. 1912. Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 11: 111.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Comments: This taxon is found in chaparral, foothills woodlands, and exposed dry washes and protected valleys (David et al. 2002).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat characteristics

California redbud occurs on dry, shrubby slopes [35,39,44,54,55] and rocky plains [39], in canyons [35,39,44,54] and ravines [35,44], along streambanks [13,32,35,44] and washes [39], and in chaparral [32,35,44,54,55] and foothill woodland ecosystems [35,44,54].

In the foothills of northern California, California redbud occurs at low elevations on north-facing slopes or near seasonal water courses [18].

Climate: California redbud is light and drought tolerant [44,72]. In California chaparral sites, California redbud persists where the winters are cool and wet and the summers are hot and dry [18].

Elevation: The elevation ranges for California redbud in the 4 states where it occurs are presented in the table below:

State Elevation
Arizona 4,000 to 6,000 feet [40,49]
California 400 to 5,000 feet [35,54,55]
Nevada 2,500 to 6,200 feet [39]
Utah 2,168 to 4,053 feet [21,76]

Soil: California redbud can tolerate a wide range of soils [68,72]. In California chaparral, California redbud is found on granitic soils [32].

  • 35. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 76. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 40. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 13. Bennett, Peter S.; Kunzmann, Michael R.; Johnson, R. Roy. 1989. Relative nature of wetlands: riparian and vegetational considerations. In: Abell, Dana L., technical coordinator. Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California riparian systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 140-142. [13516]
  • 18. Calkin, Howard W.; Pearcy, Robert W. 1984. Leaf conductance and transpiration, and water relations of evergreen and deciduous perennials co-occurring in a moist chaparral site. Plant, Cell and Environment. 7(5): 339-346. [62445]
  • 21. Clover, Elzada U.; Jotter, Lois. 1944. Floristic studies in the Canyon of the Colorado and tributaries. The American Midland Naturalist. 32(3): 591-642. [62472]
  • 32. Graves, George W. 1932. Ecological relationships of Pinus sabiniana. Botanical Gazette. 94(1): 106-133. [63160]
  • 44. Keeley, Melanie. 2005. Propagation protocol for California redbud (Cercis orbiculata Greene). Native Plants Journal. 6(2): 131. [62447]
  • 49. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1950. Southwestern trees: A guide to the native species of New Mexico and Arizona. Agricultural Handbook 9. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 109 p. [20317]
  • 54. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 55. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 68. Smith, Nevin. 1986. Growing natives: more from the chaparral. Fremontia. 14(3): 34-35. [62443]
  • 39. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]
  • 72. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2006. PLANTS database (2006), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the terms: cover, shrub

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [67]:


107 Western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass

201 Blue oak woodland

202 Coast live oak woodland

203 Riparian woodland

204 North coastal shrub

205 Coastal sage shrub

206 Chamise chaparral

207 Scrub oak mixed chaparral

208 Ceanothus mixed chaparral

209 Montane shrubland

210 Bitterbrush

412 Juniper-pinyon woodland

413 Gambel oak

415 Curlleaf mountain-mahogany

416 True mountain-mahogany

417 Littleleaf mountain-mahogany

418 Bigtooth maple

419 Bittercherry

420 Snowbrush

502 Grama-galleta

503 Arizona chaparral

504 Juniper-pinyon pine woodland

505 Grama-tobosa shrub

509 Transition between oak-juniper woodland and mahogany-oak association
  • 67. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [27]:

222 Black cottonwood-willow

230 Douglas-fir-western hemlock

233 Oregon white oak

235 Cottonwood-willow

237 Interior ponderosa pine

238 Western juniper

239 Pinyon-juniper

240 Arizona cypress

241 Western live oak

243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer

245 Pacific ponderosa pine

246 California black oak

247 Jeffrey pine

248 Knobcone pine

249 Canyon live oak

250 Blue oak-foothills pine

255 California coast live oak
  • 27. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: shrub

KUCHLER [46] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:


K005 Mixed conifer forest

K009 Pine-cypress forest

K010 Ponderosa shrub forest

K011 Western ponderosa forest

K026 Oregon oakwoods

K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland

K029 California mixed evergreen forest

K030 California oakwoods

K031 Oak-juniper woodland

K032 Transition between K031 and K037

K033 Chaparral

K034 Montane chaparral

K035 Coastal sagebrush

K037 Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub

K053 Grama-galleta steppe

K057 Galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe

K058 Grama-tobosa shrubsteppe
  • 46. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [30]:

FRES20 Douglas-fir

FRES21 Ponderosa pine

FRES28 Western hardwoods

FRES29 Sagebrush

FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe

FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub

FRES35 Pinyon-juniper

FRES40 Desert grasslands
  • 30. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Key Plant Community Associations

California redbud is recognized as a dominant species in this Arizona vegetation classification:

California redbud/western poison ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)/scarlet monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis)
at Vasey's Paradise in the Grand Canyon [21]
  • 21. Clover, Elzada U.; Jotter, Lois. 1944. Floristic studies in the Canyon of the Colorado and tributaries. The American Midland Naturalist. 32(3): 591-642. [62472]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Dispersal

Establishment

Adaptation: It grows at elevations of 4,000 ft. or less, in canyons and on rather steep slopes, in gravely, and rocky soils along streams, where it is never flooded. It also grows in the bottom of ephemeral streambeds in little pockets, benches, or crannies of boulder outcroppings. The plant is drought tolerant, sun-loving, and grows in a wide variety of soils, but it is usually found in rather harsh environments with course, nutrient-poor soils that are well-drained. It grows mostly singly, but sometimes, in sheltered situations, in shrubby clumps.

If possible, gather the seed from local sources, to maintain genetic diversity of redbud. The seedpods can be collected in the fall of the year from September to November from redbud branches. Redbud seeds are adapted for prolonged periods of dryness and cold and they require special pretreatment to germinate, owing to an impervious seed coat plus a dormant embryo. One method is to place the seeds into a container and pour boiling water over them and let the seeds soak overnight. They can then be covered with damp peat moss and refrigerated for two months or they can be planted right away. The germination of redbud seed in the wild is favored by fire, which cracks the seed coat and generates the heat needed to stimulate germination.

Plant the treated seed in the fall in flats, spacing the seeds approximately one to two inches apart. Use a slow-release fertilizer in the planting mix. Cover with about a quarter-inch of soil (approximately 3 to 4 times the width of the seed). To reduce the possibility of damping off, keep the flats outdoors in a protected area with partial shade and little wind. Water the flats through the winter and the let the plants grow one full year before planting them out. The seedlings will be about three inches to one foot tall by the following fall. Plant the seedlings in a sunny location with good drainage. If gophers are a problem, plant redbud seedlings in cages. Watering is not necessary until the following summer, in a normal rainfall year. Give the young plants summer water for the first three years in the ground. This amounts to once every two weeks in a hot climate and less in a coastal climate. Do not over water, as redbud will not tolerate summer water in the root crown area (at the soil level) and will suffer crown rot (Phytophthora sp.) if over-watered. When leaves first emerge in the spring, use liquid fertilizer to boost growth.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire exclusion, shrubs

The limited research presented above suggests that fire favors California redbud. However, land managers should use caution if fire is used to promote California redbud growth. While fire can be suitable for the management of California redbud, it may have unintended consequences on the plant communities where it is used. In a review, Keeley [42] recommends against prescribed burning in California chaparral. Because fire frequencies have increased, not decreased, with European settlement, populations of obligate seeding shrubs in chaparral have been reduced, and prescription burning would only exacerbate the situation. Thus, fire prevention and fire exclusion may be needed to restore native plant communities in the chaparral [42].
  • 42. Keeley, Jon E. 2001. Fire and invasive species in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems in California. In: Galley, Krista E. M.; Wilson, Tyrone P., eds. Proceedings of the invasive species workshop: The role of fire in the control and spread of invasive species; Fire conference 2000: the first national congress on fire ecology, prevention, and management; 2000 November 27 - December 1; San Diego, CA. Misc. Publ. No. 11. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 81-94. [40679]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: cover

Summer prescription burning of California redbud at Ellis Ranch, California,
caused significant (p<0.05) decreases in California redbud canopy cover
at postfire month 2 and postfire year 1. Prior to burning, the area was "preburn prepared" by crushing
brush and interior live oak with a bulldozer and selectively cutting gray pine and interior live oak for
firewood. Prior to the preburn preparation during the summer of 1986, California
redbud cover was 2%. Following the preburn preparation and prior to the
prescription fire, California redbud significantly increased to 18% cover. The
prescription burn occurred in August 1987 and vegetation sampling occurred in October 1987
(postfire month 2), November 1988 (postfire year
1), 1989 (postfire year 2), and in November 1995 (postfire year 8). Two months following the burn, there were
no California redbud seedlings found on the burn site. At postfire year 1, 364 California redbud seedlings
were counted on the burn site. The following table gives mean canopy cover of
California redbud before the preburn preparation, after the preburn preparation,
and at 4 dates following prescription burning. While it is not clear in the
research literature, it is assumed that California redbud canopy cover includes sprouts and
seedlings [29,50]:

Preproject 1986Postpreparation 1987Postfire month 2Postfire year 1Postfire year 2Postfire year 8
2%18%0%6%14%15%
  • 29. Frost, William E. 1989. The Ellis Ranch Project: a case study in controlled burning. No. 891002. Fresno, CA: California Agricultural Technology Institute; San Joaquin Experimental Range. 11 p. [13817]
  • 50. McDougald, Neil K.; Frost, William E. 1997. Assessment of a prescribed burning project: 1987-1995. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 671-678. [29051]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Immediate Effect of Fire

California redbud is top-killed by fire [1].
  • 1. Anderson, M. Kat. 1991. California Indian horticulture: Management and use of redbud by the southern Sierra Miwok. Journal of Ethnobiology. 11(1): 145-157. [17968]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: adventitious, secondary colonizer, shrub

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [69]:
Tall shrub, adventitious bud/root crown
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)
  • 69. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. FEIS postfire regeneration workshop--April 12: Seral origin of species comprising secondary plant succession in Northern Rocky Mountain forests. 10 p. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [20090]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: fire exclusion, fire frequency, fire management, frequency, interference, shrubs

Fire adaptations: California redbud establishes following fire by seed [50] and/or sprouting from the bole [1].

FIRE REGIMES: Research literature on California redbud is primarily centered on its occurrence in California chaparral and oak woodlands. Both of these community types can have lightning-ignited fires and have long been affected by anthropogenic fire, starting with Native Americans [2,42,43]. Prior to European settlement, the western Mono, foothill Yokuts, and Miwok Native Americans of the central and southern Sierra Nevada foothills set autumn fires at intervals of 1 to several years to induce rapid elongation of young growth of California redbud (see Other Uses) [1,2,4,5,6]. They also actively burned to keep down shrubs and trees and maintain an open, park-like woodland that aided hunting and favored certain food crops [32]. Fire exclusion policies were implemented as European settlers entered the area in the late 19th century, again altering the chaparral and oak woodland communities [3,4]. With so much historical human interference in the oak woodlands and chaparral of California, gauging the historic or presettlement fire return interval in these communities is difficult and often debated. In a review by Keeley [42], evidence is offered that fire frequency in California chaparral has increased, not decreased, due to human-caused accidental fires (see Fire Management Considerations).

In oak woodlands, California redbud is often found in canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis), blue oak-gray pine (Q. douglasii-Pinus sabiniana), and interior live oak (Q. wislizenii) community types. The fire return interval in these communities is from <35 to <100 years [57]. The fire return interval of stand-replacement fires in California chaparral varies, depending upon species composition. In reviews, Keeley and Keeley [41,43] stated that modal frequency of stand-replacement fires in California chaparral ranges from 20 to 30 years, and Paysen and others [57] reported fire return intervals ranging from less than 35 years to about every 100 years. Relatively long fire-return intervals are typical of chaparral dominated by obligate seeding species such as waveyleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus foliosus) [51], while relatively short fire-return intervals favor spouting chaparral species such as chamise [41,43].

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where California redbud is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
California chaparral Adenostoma and/or Arctostaphylos spp. <35 to <100
sagebrush steppe Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata 20-70
coastal sagebrush Artemisia californica <35 to <100
grama-galleta steppe Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis jamesii <35 to <100
blue grama-tobosa prairie Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis mutica <35 to <100
California montane chaparral Ceanothus and/or Arctostaphylos spp. 50-100 [57]
curlleaf mountain-mahogany* Cercocarpus ledifolius 13-1,000 [9,66]
mountain-mahogany-Gambel oak scrub Cercocarpus ledifolius-Quercus gambelii <35 to <100
Arizona cypress Cupressus arizonica <35 to 200
western juniper Juniperus occidentalis 20-70 [57]
pine-cypress forest Pinus-Cupressus spp. 9-63 [7,70,74]
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. <35 [57]
Colorado pinyon Pinus edulis 10-400+ [28,31,41,57]
Jeffrey pine Pinus jeffreyi 5-30
Pacific ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa 1-47 [8]
interior ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum 2-30 [8,10,47]
galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe Pleuraphis jamesii-Aristida purpurea <35 to <100 [57]
California mixed evergreen Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii-Lithocarpus densiflorus-Arbutus menziesii <35
California oakwoods Quercus spp. <35 [8]
oak-juniper woodland (Southwest) Quercus-Juniperus spp. <35 to <200 [57]
coast live oak Quercus agrifolia 2-75 [33]
canyon live oak Quercus chrysolepis <35 to 200
blue oak-foothills pine Quercus douglasii-P. sabiniana <35
Oregon white oak Quercus garryana <35 [8]
California black oak Quercus kelloggii 5-30 [57]
interior live oak Quercus wislizenii <35 [8]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review
  • 8. Arno, Stephen F. 2000. Fire in western forest ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 97-120. [36984]
  • 10. Baisan, Christopher H.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 1990. Fire history on a desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1559-1569. [14986]
  • 9. Arno, Stephen F.; Wilson, Andrew E. 1986. Dating past fires in curlleaf mountain-mahogany communities. Journal of Range Management. 39(3): 241-243. [350]
  • 28. Floyd, M. Lisa; Romme, William H.; Hanna, David D. 2000. Fire history and vegetation pattern in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, USA. Ecological Applications. 10(6): 1666-1680. [37590]
  • 1. Anderson, M. Kat. 1991. California Indian horticulture: Management and use of redbud by the southern Sierra Miwok. Journal of Ethnobiology. 11(1): 145-157. [17968]
  • 2. Anderson, M. Kat. 1996. Tending the wilderness. Restoration & Management Notes. 14(2): 154-166. [35819]
  • 3. Anderson, M. Kat. 1997. California's endangered peoples and endangered ecosystems. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 21(3): 7-31. [35821]
  • 4. Anderson, M. Kat. 1999. The fire, pruning, and coppice management of temperate ecosystems for basketry material by California Indian tribes. Human Ecology. 27(1): 79-113. [35820]
  • 5. Anderson, M. Kat; Moratto, Michael J. 1996. Native American land-use practices and ecological impacts. In: Status of the Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project: Final report to Congress. Volume II: Assessments and scientific basis for management options. Wildland Resources Center Report No. 37. Davis, CA: University of California, Centers for Water and Wildland Resources: 187-206. [28967]
  • 6. Anderson, Marion Kathleen. 1993. The experimental approach to assessment of the potential ecological effects of horticultural practices by indigenous peoples on California wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California. 211 p. Dissertation. [33081]
  • 7. Armstrong, Wayne P. 1966. Ecological and taxonomic relationships of Cupressus in southern California. Los Angles, CA: California State College. 129 p. Thesis. [21332]
  • 31. Gottfried, Gerald J.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Allen, Craig D.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Chung-MacCoubrey, Alice L. 1995. Pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Finch, Deborah M.; Tainter, Joseph A., eds. Ecology, diversity, and sustainability of the Middle Rio Grande Basin. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-268. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 95-132. [26188]
  • 32. Graves, George W. 1932. Ecological relationships of Pinus sabiniana. Botanical Gazette. 94(1): 106-133. [63160]
  • 42. Keeley, Jon E. 2001. Fire and invasive species in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems in California. In: Galley, Krista E. M.; Wilson, Tyrone P., eds. Proceedings of the invasive species workshop: The role of fire in the control and spread of invasive species; Fire conference 2000: the first national congress on fire ecology, prevention, and management; 2000 November 27 - December 1; San Diego, CA. Misc. Publ. No. 11. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 81-94. [40679]
  • 43. Keeley, Jon E.; Keeley, Sterling C. 1986. Chaparral and wildfires. Fremontia. 14(3): 18-21. [18365]
  • 47. Laven, R. D.; Omi, P. N.; Wyant, J. G.; Pinkerton, A. S. 1980. Interpretation of fire scar data from a ponderosa pine ecosystem in the central Rocky Mountains, Colorado. In: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H., tech. coords. Proceedings of the fire history workshop; 1980 October 20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 46-49. [7183]
  • 50. McDougald, Neil K.; Frost, William E. 1997. Assessment of a prescribed burning project: 1987-1995. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 671-678. [29051]
  • 51. Menke, John W.; Villasenor, Ricardo. 1977. The California Mediterranean ecosystem and its management. In: Mooney, Harold A.; Conrad, C. Eugene, technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on the environmental consequences of fire and fuel management in Mediterranean ecosystems; 1977 August 1-5; Palo Alto, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 257-270. [4847]
  • 57. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Haase, Sally M.; Harrington, Michael G.; Narog, Marcia G.; Sackett, Stephen S.; Wilson, Ruth C. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-volume 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]
  • 66. Schultz, Brad W. 1987. Ecology of curlleaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) in western and central Nevada: population structure and dynamics. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 111 p. Thesis. [7064]
  • 70. Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Brown, Peter M. 1992. Fire history in a Mexican oak-pine woodland and adjacent montane conifer gallery forest in southeastern Arizona. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; Hernandez C., Victor Manuel; Ortega-Rubio, Alfred; Hamre, R. H., tech. coords. Ecology and management of oak and associated woodlands: perspectives in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 165-173. [19759]
  • 74. Vogl, Richard J.; Armstrong, Wayne P.; White, Keith L.; Cole, Kenneth L. 1977. The closed-cone pines and cypress. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 295-358. [7219]
  • 33. Greenlee, Jason M.; Langenheim, Jean H. 1990. Historic FIRE REGIMES and their relation to vegetation patterns in the Monterey Bay area of California. The American Midland Naturalist. 124(2): 239-253. [15144]
  • 41. Keeley, Jon E. 1981. Reproductive cycles and FIRE REGIMES. In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.; Lotan, J. E.; Reiners, W. A., tech. coords. FIRE REGIMES and ecosystem properties: Proceedings of the conference; 1978 December 11-15; Honolulu, HI. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-26. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 231-277. [4395]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: association, succession

California redbud is found on disturbed sites such as burns [1] and is found in several stages of succession [22,29,50]. While it can withstand shade [68], more than light shading can cause a reduction in flower production [22].

At Ellis Ranch, California, California redbud occurs on "early succession" burn sites [29,50]. California redbud is an important species in the late-seral conifer forest-chaparral association of northern California [22].

  • 1. Anderson, M. Kat. 1991. California Indian horticulture: Management and use of redbud by the southern Sierra Miwok. Journal of Ethnobiology. 11(1): 145-157. [17968]
  • 22. Cooper, William Skinner. 1922. The broad-sclerophyll vegetation of California: an ecological study of the chaparral and its related communities. Publ. No. 319. Washington, DC: The Carnegie Institution of Washington. 145 p. [6716]
  • 29. Frost, William E. 1989. The Ellis Ranch Project: a case study in controlled burning. No. 891002. Fresno, CA: California Agricultural Technology Institute; San Joaquin Experimental Range. 11 p. [13817]
  • 50. McDougald, Neil K.; Frost, William E. 1997. Assessment of a prescribed burning project: 1987-1995. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 671-678. [29051]
  • 68. Smith, Nevin. 1986. Growing natives: more from the chaparral. Fremontia. 14(3): 34-35. [62443]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: dioecious

California redbud regenerates primarily from seed [11]. California redbud may sprout from damaged boles following fire [1].

Pollination: California redbud is pollinated by bumble bees and orchard mason bees [11,24,72].

Breeding system: The flowers of California redbud are dioecious [11].

Seed production: California redbud produces abundant crops of legumes, but seed set is variable [11].

Seed dispersal: California redbud seeds are dispersed by wind, birds, and animals [11].

Seed banking: California redbud utilizes a seed bank [23].

J.S. Peterson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS DATABASE

Germination:

California redbud seeds require scarification and stratification for germination [44,48,53]. The seeds are adapted to prolonged periods of dryness and cold due to an impervious seed coat and a dormant embryo [1,34,72].

There are no field studies of California redbud seed longevity to date (2006); however, California redbud seeds remained viable for 12 years or more when stored in a freezer at 5% to 9% humidity and 0°F (-18 °C) [11].

Seedling establishment/growth: California redbud seedlings have a "rapid" growth rate [11].

Asexual regeneration: California redbud may regenerate asexually by sprouting from boles damaged by fire [1].

  • 1. Anderson, M. Kat. 1991. California Indian horticulture: Management and use of redbud by the southern Sierra Miwok. Journal of Ethnobiology. 11(1): 145-157. [17968]
  • 23. DeBolt, Ann; Spurrier, Carol S. 2004. Seeds of success and the Millennium Seed Bank project. In: Hild, Ann L.; Shaw, Nancy L.; Meyer, Susan E.; Booth, D. Terrance; McArthur, E. Durant, compilers. Seed and soil dynamics in shrubland ecosystems: proceedings; 2002 August 12-16; Laramie, WY. Proceedings RMRS-P-31. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 100-108. [49104]
  • 24. Dobson, Heidi E. M. 1988. Survey of pollen and pollenkitt lipids -- chemical cues to flower visitors? American Journal of Botany. 75(2): 170-182. [62474]
  • 34. Heit, C. E. 1971. Propagation from seed. Part 22: testing and growing western desert and mountain shrub species. American Nurseryman. 133(10): 10-12, 76-89. [41526]
  • 44. Keeley, Melanie. 2005. Propagation protocol for California redbud (Cercis orbiculata Greene). Native Plants Journal. 6(2): 131. [62447]
  • 48. Liang, Yan; Harris, Jeanne M. 2005. Response of root branching to abscisic acid is correlated with nodule formation both in legumes and nonlegumes. American Journal of Botany. 92(10): 1675-1683. [62441]
  • 53. Mirov, N. T. 1936. Germination behavior of some California plants. Ecology. 17(4): 667-672. [63150]
  • 11. Banner, Valerie A.; Stein, William I. 2003. Cercis L. redbud. Bonner, Franklin T., tech. coord. Woody plant seed manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (Producer). Available: http://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/wpsm/Cercis.pdf [2006, August 2]. [62844]
  • 72. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2006. PLANTS database (2006), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

RAUNKIAER [63] LIFE FORM:
Phanerophyte
  • 63. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Form

More info for the terms: shrub, tree

Shrub-tree

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Plant Response to Fire

California redbud establishes following fire by seed [50] and/or sprouting from the bole [1]. The seed is dispersed onto burned sites by wind, birds, and mammals [11]. California redbud also utilizes a seed bank [23]. As of this review (2006), there is no information on seed tolerance to fire. Seed insulated by soil is probably well protected from fire.

While there is little scientific information regarding California redbud's response to fire, Native Americans in the Sierra Nevada burned California redbud every several years, or even annually, to promote growth of young sprouts (see Other Uses) [1,2,3,4,5,6]. Further, a summer prescription fire in an interior live oak-gray pine community promoted California redbud sprouting or establishment from seed in postfire years 1, 2, and 3 [50]. This suggests that fire promotes California redbud sprouting.

With such a dearth of information regarding California redbud response to fire, further fire research is sorely needed on this plant species.

  • 1. Anderson, M. Kat. 1991. California Indian horticulture: Management and use of redbud by the southern Sierra Miwok. Journal of Ethnobiology. 11(1): 145-157. [17968]
  • 2. Anderson, M. Kat. 1996. Tending the wilderness. Restoration & Management Notes. 14(2): 154-166. [35819]
  • 3. Anderson, M. Kat. 1997. California's endangered peoples and endangered ecosystems. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 21(3): 7-31. [35821]
  • 4. Anderson, M. Kat. 1999. The fire, pruning, and coppice management of temperate ecosystems for basketry material by California Indian tribes. Human Ecology. 27(1): 79-113. [35820]
  • 5. Anderson, M. Kat; Moratto, Michael J. 1996. Native American land-use practices and ecological impacts. In: Status of the Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project: Final report to Congress. Volume II: Assessments and scientific basis for management options. Wildland Resources Center Report No. 37. Davis, CA: University of California, Centers for Water and Wildland Resources: 187-206. [28967]
  • 6. Anderson, Marion Kathleen. 1993. The experimental approach to assessment of the potential ecological effects of horticultural practices by indigenous peoples on California wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California. 211 p. Dissertation. [33081]
  • 23. DeBolt, Ann; Spurrier, Carol S. 2004. Seeds of success and the Millennium Seed Bank project. In: Hild, Ann L.; Shaw, Nancy L.; Meyer, Susan E.; Booth, D. Terrance; McArthur, E. Durant, compilers. Seed and soil dynamics in shrubland ecosystems: proceedings; 2002 August 12-16; Laramie, WY. Proceedings RMRS-P-31. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 100-108. [49104]
  • 50. McDougald, Neil K.; Frost, William E. 1997. Assessment of a prescribed burning project: 1987-1995. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 671-678. [29051]
  • 11. Banner, Valerie A.; Stein, William I. 2003. Cercis L. redbud. Bonner, Franklin T., tech. coord. Woody plant seed manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (Producer). Available: http://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/wpsm/Cercis.pdf [2006, August 2]. [62844]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: formation

Depending upon the ecosystem, California redbud flowers from February to June [11,39,72]. In more temperate sections of the California coast, California redbud tends to bloom poorly in the spring because temperatures are too warm to facilitate flower bud formation [68].

On moist California chaparral sites, California redbud leaves are normally present from April through October [18], and fruit ripening occurs from July to September [11]. While the flowering period of California redbud covers several months, individual plants only remain in flower for approximately 2 weeks [72].
  • 18. Calkin, Howard W.; Pearcy, Robert W. 1984. Leaf conductance and transpiration, and water relations of evergreen and deciduous perennials co-occurring in a moist chaparral site. Plant, Cell and Environment. 7(5): 339-346. [62445]
  • 68. Smith, Nevin. 1986. Growing natives: more from the chaparral. Fremontia. 14(3): 34-35. [62443]
  • 11. Banner, Valerie A.; Stein, William I. 2003. Cercis L. redbud. Bonner, Franklin T., tech. coord. Woody plant seed manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (Producer). Available: http://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/wpsm/Cercis.pdf [2006, August 2]. [62844]
  • 39. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]
  • 72. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2006. PLANTS database (2006), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cercis occidentalis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cercis occidentalis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

Information on state-level protected status of plants in the United States is available at Plants Database.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: TNR - Not Yet Ranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status and wetland indicator values.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Management considerations

More info for the term: tree

Coppicing/Pruning:
To simulate the burning of
California redbud, the southern Miwok of California manage the
plant by coppicing (cutting the plant to within several inches of its base) and
selective pruning. California redbud responds to coppicing/pruning as it does to
fire, by growing new shoots that are long, straight, and slender,
making them ideal for basket-making. Coppicing/pruning generally occurs 1 full growing
season prior to harvest. In the Sierra National Forest, coppicing of California
redbud plants produced a significantly (p<0.05) greater
number of usable branches for basket-making than plants not coppiced [1].

Insects:
The red humped caterpillar is a common defoliator of California redbud plants in California [17,52,58,60,61].
The larvae of red humped caterpillars can consume an average of 0.4 inch² of California redbud foliage per day [52].
Bacillus thuringiensis, an insecticidal bacterium, can control red humped caterpillar larvae [17,17,58,60,61].
Bacillus thuringiensis is also an effective deterrent for the fruit tree leafroller,
which causes serious leaf defoliation in California redbud plants [59].
Fungus:
California redbud is highly susceptible to a fungal canker caused by
Botryosphaeria ribis and B. dothidea [62,65].
  • 1. Anderson, M. Kat. 1991. California Indian horticulture: Management and use of redbud by the southern Sierra Miwok. Journal of Ethnobiology. 11(1): 145-157. [17968]
  • 17. Brand, Richard J.; Pinnock, Dudley E.; Jackson, Kirby L.; Milstead, James E. 1976. Viable spore count as an index of effective dose of Bacillus thuringiensis. Journal of the Invertebrate Pathology. 27(2): 141-148. [62461]
  • 52. Milstead, James E. 1980. Pathophysiological influences of the Heterorhabditis bacteriophora complex on fifth-instar larvae of the red humped caterpillar Schizura concinna: changes in feeding rate, larval weight, and frass production. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 35(3): 260-264. [62458]
  • 58. Pinnock, D. E.; Brand, R. J.; Milstead, J. E.; Kirby, M. E.; Coe, N. F. 1978. Development of a model for prediction of target insect mortality following field application of a Bacillus thuringiensis formulation. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 31(1): 31-36. [62459]
  • 60. Pinnock, D. E.; Milstead, J. E.; Coe, N. F.; Brand, R. J. 1974. The effectiveness of Bacillus thuringiensis formulations for the control of larvae of Schizura concinna on Cercis occidentalis trees in California. Entomophaga. 19(3): 221-227. [62464]
  • 61. Pinnock, Dudley E.; Brand, Richard J.; Milstead, James E.; Jackson, Kirby L. 1975. Effect of three species on the coverage and field persistence of Bacillus thuringiensis spores. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 25(2): 209-214. [62462]
  • 62. Pooler, M. R.; Jacobs, K. A.; Kramer, M. 2002. Differential resistance to Botryosphaeria ribis among Cercis taxa. Plant Disease. 86(8): 880-882. [62450]
  • 65. Santamour, Frank S., Jr.; Riedel, Louise G. H. 1995. Susceptibility of redbuds (Cercis) to root-knot nematodes. Journal of Arboriculture. 21(1): 37-40. [62446]
  • 59. Pinnock, D. E.; Milstead, J. E. 1978. Microbial control of the fruit tree leafroller, Archips argyrospila [Lep.: Tortricidae] in California. Entomophaga. 23(3): 203-206. [62460]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

CEOR9 is readily available through most nurseries within its range. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Pruning: Periodic pruning of redbud, after it has reached the minimum age of 5 years, can be accomplished to remove dead or dying branches that might harbor diseases or insects. Pruning should take place in the fall, winter, or early spring, after leaf drop and during the dormant period. Contemporary Native American weavers practice two types of pruning. One technique is coppicing where the whole plant is cut to within several inches of the ground. Redbud vigorously resprouts from the coppice stool, sending up young straight shoots with a beautiful red pigment. This can bring added color to gardens and also these shoots are highly valued for basket weaving. Coppicing, however, should only be done on mature shrubs--at least a decade old. Flowering will be lost, until the young sprouts are two to three years old and shed the red pigment and form true bark. The other technique is selective pruning within the canopy to direct the growth of the plant. This pruning, leaves some older flowering branches, important for bees and butterflies.

Burning: Before Euro-American settlement of California, Native Americans conducted purposeful burning of hillsides in the fall of the year, after redbud has shed its leaves, to encourage the growth of young, straight shoots used extensively in basketry. Redbud also resprouts vigorously after fires.

A pathogen that infects redbud leaves is Alternaria sp. while Botrytis sp. is a gray mold that causes foliage or flower blight. Two fungi that cause root rot in redbud include Fusarium solani and Verticillium dahliae. A fungus that infects old seedpods is Didymella leguminis-cytisis. Most of these diseases will debilitate, but not kill redbud. Fire is an effective tool to use to eliminate the above-ground pathogens inhabiting redbud.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the term: cover

California redbud is a "good" soil stabilizer along degraded stream banks [72]. In California, it has been successfully used to revegetate roadside cuts on Mount Palomar [37] and to prevent erosion and provide cover along Tapo Canyon Creek [56].

There is 1 California redbud cultivar ('common') available [71].

  • 37. Juhren, Gustaf. 1949. Erosion control on Palomar Mt. Observatory Road. Journal of Forestry. 47(6): 463-466. [62466]
  • 56. Patey, Katherine J.; Wishner, Carl; Gibson, Joseph G. 1991. Tapo Canyon Creek riparian habitat restoration plan. Restoration & Management Notes. 9(1): 47-48. [15454]
  • 71. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Tucson Plant Materials Center. 2001. Commercial sources of conservation plant materials, [Online]. Available: http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/pubs/azpmsarseedlist0501.pdf [2003, August 25]. [44989]
  • 72. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2006. PLANTS database (2006), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

There is little information on the importance of California redbud to livestock and wildlife. California redbud is moderately important as fall (prior to leaf fall) and spring (April-May) browse for mule deer [11,64], but is of little to no use to domestic goats, horses, and other livestock species [11,64]. Domestic goats, domestic sheep, and cattle favor the young shoots, leaves, and seedpods [72]. California redbud is important for bees that depend upon the nectar from its flowers [72]. The only other reference to California redbud and its importance to wildlife found in the literature (2006) refers to coyotes in eastern Tehama County, California, which depend minimally on California redbud fruits [12].

Palatability/nutritional value: No information is available on this topic.

Cover value: Currently (2006) there is no literature addressing the cover value of California redbud. However, given its height [35,54,55,76] and arching canopy [68,72], it likely provides cover for a variety of mammal and bird species.

  • 35. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 76. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 54. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 55. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 64. Sampson, Arthur W.; Jespersen, Beryl S. 1963. California range brushlands and browse plants. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Division of Agricultural Sciences; California Agricultural Experiment Station, Extension Service. 162 p. [3240]
  • 68. Smith, Nevin. 1986. Growing natives: more from the chaparral. Fremontia. 14(3): 34-35. [62443]
  • 12. Barrett, Reginald H. 1983. Food habits of coyotes, Canis latrans, in eastern Tehama County, California. California Fish and Game. 69(3): 184-186. [13786]
  • 11. Banner, Valerie A.; Stein, William I. 2003. Cercis L. redbud. Bonner, Franklin T., tech. coord. Woody plant seed manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (Producer). Available: http://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/wpsm/Cercis.pdf [2006, August 2]. [62844]
  • 72. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2006. PLANTS database (2006), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Other uses and values

California redbud is important for the western Mono, foothill Yokuts, and Miwok Native Americans of the central and southern Sierra Nevada of California. Young California redbud shoots, owing to their brilliant red color and straight, flexible structure, are used for basketry [1,2,3,4,5,6]. While not identified by name, other Native American nations also used California redbud shoots in basketry [15]. In the American Southwest, Native Americans used California redbud roots and bark as a remedy for diarrhea and dysentery [11,45]. Beyond medicinal and basketry purposes, the Navajo roasted the seedpods of California redbud in ashes and ate the seeds [19,25].

California redbud is often used as a landscaping ornamental [11,20,72].

  • 1. Anderson, M. Kat. 1991. California Indian horticulture: Management and use of redbud by the southern Sierra Miwok. Journal of Ethnobiology. 11(1): 145-157. [17968]
  • 2. Anderson, M. Kat. 1996. Tending the wilderness. Restoration & Management Notes. 14(2): 154-166. [35819]
  • 3. Anderson, M. Kat. 1997. California's endangered peoples and endangered ecosystems. American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 21(3): 7-31. [35821]
  • 4. Anderson, M. Kat. 1999. The fire, pruning, and coppice management of temperate ecosystems for basketry material by California Indian tribes. Human Ecology. 27(1): 79-113. [35820]
  • 5. Anderson, M. Kat; Moratto, Michael J. 1996. Native American land-use practices and ecological impacts. In: Status of the Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project: Final report to Congress. Volume II: Assessments and scientific basis for management options. Wildland Resources Center Report No. 37. Davis, CA: University of California, Centers for Water and Wildland Resources: 187-206. [28967]
  • 6. Anderson, Marion Kathleen. 1993. The experimental approach to assessment of the potential ecological effects of horticultural practices by indigenous peoples on California wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California. 211 p. Dissertation. [33081]
  • 20. Ciesla, Bill. 1981. The outriders of spring: Redbud. American Forests. 87(4): 22-27. [16170]
  • 15. Bonnicksen, Thomas M. 2000. Fire masters. In: Bonnicksen, Thomas M. America's ancient forests: From the Ice Age to the Age of Discovery. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc: 143-216. [46248]
  • 19. Castetter, Edward F. 1935. Ethnobiological studies in the American Southwest. Biological Series No. 4: Volume 1. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico. 62 p. [35938]
  • 25. Elmore, Francis H. 1944. Ethnobotany of the Navajo. Monograph Series: 1(7). Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico. 136 p. [35897]
  • 45. Krochmal, A.; Paur, S.; Duisberg, P. 1954. Useful native plants in the American southwestern deserts. Economic Botany. 8: 3-20. [2766]
  • 11. Banner, Valerie A.; Stein, William I. 2003. Cercis L. redbud. Bonner, Franklin T., tech. coord. Woody plant seed manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (Producer). Available: http://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/wpsm/Cercis.pdf [2006, August 2]. [62844]
  • 72. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2006. PLANTS database (2006), [Online]. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/. [34262]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Uses

Ethnobotanic: Western redbud is highly valued by Native American basket weavers in California for their young, wine-red branches, harvested in the fall and used in the warp, weft, and designs of baskets. If the branches are harvested in the spring when the bark slips, the white inner sapwood may also be used as the weft or lacing in baskets.

Other: Uses include the following: landscaping, furniture, browsing, and stream stabilization. Western redbud is a good soil stabilizer along streams, and can withstand periodic flooding. The flowers provide nectar to bees and the young shoots, leaves, and seedpods are browsed by goats, and too a limited extent by deer, sheep, and cattle. The browse rating though for sheep and cattle is poor. Horticulturists have planted redbud in informal and formal gardens and landscapes since 1886 and it has been called one of California's most attractive flowering shrubs in gardeners' manuals and horticultural guides.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Cercis occidentalis

Cercis occidentalis, the western redbud or California redbud (syn. Cercis orbiculata — Greene), is a small tree or shrub in the legume family. It is found across the American Southwest, from California to Utah and Arizona. [1] [2]

Description[edit]

Cercis occidentalis has thin, shiny brown branches that bear shiny heart-shaped leaves which are light green early in the season and darken as they age. Leaves on plants at higher elevation may turn gold or red as the weather cools.

The showy flowers are bright pink or magenta, and grow in clusters all over the shrub, making the plant very colorful and noticeable in the landscape. The shrub bears 3-inch-long brown legume pods which are very thin and dry.

Uses[edit]

Indigenous Californians use the twigs of the western redbud to weave baskets, and even prune the shrub to encourage growth of new twigs. The bark provides a faint reddish dye for the finished basketry. The Concow tribe calls the tree dop (Konkow language)[3] or tal'k.[4]

Cultivation[edit]

Cercis occidentalis is cultivated as an ornamental plant and tree, for planting in parks and gardens, and as a street tree. It is also used in drought tolerant, native plant, and wildlife gardens. [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cercis occidentalis species account from ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) . accessed 3.23.2013
  2. ^ USDA: Cercis orbiculata . accessed 3.23.2013
  3. ^ Chesnut, Victor King (1902). Plants used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California. Government Printing Office. p. 404. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Chesnut, p. 408
  5. ^ Las Pilitas Nursery database — Cercis occidentalis (Western Redbud) . accessed 3.23.2013
  • Casebeer, M. (2004). Discover California Shrubs. Sonora, California: Hooker Press. ISBN 0-9665463-1-8
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

California redbud

western redbud

Arizona redbud

Judas tree

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

The scientific name of California redbud is Cercis orbiculata
Greene (Fabaceae) [38].
  • 38. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Synonyms

Cercis occidentalis Torr. ex Gray [35,40,54,55,76]

   =Cercis orbiculata

Cercis occidentalis var. orbiculata (Greene) Tidestrom [76]

   =Cercis orbiculata
  • 35. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 76. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 40. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 54. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 55. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!