What Are Some Varieties of Redbud Trees?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 11, 2020 8:18:50 AM ET

Two main species of redbud are the Eastern redbud and the Chinese redbud, each with an abundance of cultivars. Eastern redbud varieties include "Convey," a weeping specimen with pinkish-purple flowers, twisting branches and a mature height of only five feet. In direct contrast is "Forest Pansy," which can grow to a mature height of 30 feet. In spring, it flowers in pinkish-purple, and in cooler summer climates, its leaves remain a rich dark burgundy.

Eastern redbud varieties include "Appalachian Red," with deep pink flowers bordering on true-red; "Flame," featuring double pink flowers that appear when the tree leafs out; and the pink-flowering "Tennessee Pink" and "Rubye Atkinson." There are varieties that bloom with small, white flowers including "Alba," which blooms later than many other redbud cultivars and "Royal White," a popular alternative to "Alba" because it blooms earlier and has greater cold-hardiness. "Silver Cloud", reaching a mature height of 30 feet, features creamy-white or silver variegation on its green leaves with pretty pink blooms. It needs partial-shade to maintain its beautiful leaf color.

A native understory tree in the eastern United States, the Eastern redbud is faster growing than its Chinese counterpart, attaining a mature height of 35 feet with a tree form that features horizontally tiered branches as the tree ages. Its small rosy pink or light purple spring flowers bloom after the early-flowering fruit and crabapple trees and before the later-flowering dogwoods and cherry trees.

Chinese redbuds, native to Japan and China, are smaller and more shrub-like, featuring an openly-branched mature height and width of 10 feet and bright, glossy leaves. "Avondale" is a Chinese redbud variety with prolific bright-purple blooms that appear along every branch before the leaves emerge.