What Are Some Varieties of Redbud Trees?

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.