Science Bloggers for Students DonorsChoose Challenge

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Urban Wildlife Watch - Redbuds

I visited the Missouri State Nursery a couple of weeks ago to pick up some tree seedlings for a public program. We picked up 1000 Redbud tree saplings. Its common name is Eastern Redbud and the scientific name is Cercis canadensis. Since learning about these trees and how to identify them, I'm suddenly noticing them everywhere. They are in bloom now and they have a very pretty and distinctive flower.

Maybe the buds of the tree are red, but the flowers, even in the early stages are a very pretty purple and lavender. And the flowers come right off of the stem. I've noticed them as yard trees, ornamental trees along streets and in parks. Most are small, but they can get big, up to 30 feet or so. I noticed many larger trees along the highway. It is a very pretty sight to see the brilliant purple against the green grass and loosely leaved spring trees.

Redbud is a Missouri native tree and growing native plants, grasses, trees, and flowers is encouraged. Redbuds are lovely trees are nice additions to the urban landscape. Consider planting this beautiful tree (that also provides habitat to other wildlife like birds) instead of non-native ornamental trees like barren pear trees.

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