The leaves are attached to the Rising Sun Redbud tree by a bright orange stem and are attached in an alternate fashion. (Photo by Ginny Rosenkranz)

Cercis Canadensis, also known as the Rising Sun Redbud, is a native tree that lives in full sun or under the shade larger trees and grows about 8-12 feet tall and wide.
As a small tree, it will fit into many landscapes and it is also a tree that provides four seasons of beauty.
In early spring before the leaves emerge, the tree is covered in small, bright raspberry pink flowers that group together in clusters of four to 10.
The flowers cover the branches, outlining them with color and provide nectar for early spring pollinators.
After the flowers are almost finished blooming the heart shaped leaves begin to emerge in a pale soft yellow.
As the weather warms up the leaves change to a bright apricot color as they begin to expand and then change to gold and finally a soft green.
The leaves are attached to the tree by a bright orange stem and are attached in an alternate fashion.
Throughout the summer the plants produce new leaves which shine in the rainbow of apricot, gold then green, creating a bright sunny spot in the garden.
In autumn the leaves glow yellow and orange before dropping off the tree to reveal the lovely branched architecture of the tree.
The Rising Sun Redbud needs to be watered weekly in the heat of summer and during periods of drought to keep the tree healthy and the new foliage emerging, especially if it is planted in full sun.
A light covering of mulch around the base of the tree also helps to keep the roots cool and prevents many summer annual weeds from growing.
(Editor’s Note: Ginny Rosenkranz is a commercial horticulture specialist with the University of Maryland Extension.)