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  Photos © Kim Hosen; Merrimac Farm Wildlife Managemen Area, Nokesvile VA; August 2008  

Cercis canadensis
Pea family, Fabaceae

Redbuds are small trees commonly seen in the understory of our local woodlands. Redbuds typically grow to 30 feet in height, with dark, scaled bark and a short, often twisted trunk.

In early spring they are covered with showy pink blooms, an early source of nectar for Hummingbirds and other pollinators.

The flowers are also a favorite source of pollen for honey bees. Bean-like seedpods mature in October and persist through winter, providing food for Bobwhite Quail, Cardinals, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and songbirds, as well as deer and gray squirrels.

Redbud trees are a host plant for Henry's Elfin butterfly.