This flowering deciduous shrub, also known as California redbud, is one of springtime's delights. Commonly found in the California's foothill woodlands (up to 4,000 feet), the western redbud is also native to Arizona and Utah. With its vibrant pea-like magenta flowers, it not only adds color to the landscape but attracts wildlife like humming birds and butterflies.
The western redbud is easy and fast to grow. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Depending on the growing conditions, it can reach up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
The western redbud flaunts its beauty all-year-round. The flowers bloom in spring before its heart-shaped leaves emerge in April; the flat reddish seedpods show off in summer and stay through winter; the leaves turn to red and yellow in fall. After the leaves drop in winter, the tree is left with the old pods that hang on to the branches, lending an interesting look.
While often planted as an ornamental, the seeds and flowers of the western redbud are in fact edible. The flowers can be used in salads or simply as garnish while the seeds serve as food for feeding birds and other wildlife.
If you are looking for a native plant to jazz up your garden, especially for a small space, the western redbud is an ideal choice.