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We are in debt to our Redbud trees


Redbud tree in front of Abbotts Mill Nature Center - Steve Childers photo 4/6/2023

Redbud Cercis canadensis

Only native in extreme northern Delaware, this small tree is commonly planted in urban areas due to its abundant pink flowers and purple spring leaves. An excellent tree to plant near utility lines, redbud has little wildlife or timber value; however, the flower is a delicacy often eaten in soups or salads. The chief importance of the redbud lies in the ornamental value of its beautiful and abundant flowers, which appear in spring.


pea-like Redbud blossoms - Steve Childers photo 4/6/2023

Redbud leaves have a distinct heart shape with smooth margins.

Heart-shaped Redbud leaves

After the flowers bloom, little bean pods appear. The leaves turn yellow before dropping in fall.

The Delaware State Champion Redbud is on the grounds of Hagley Museum, with a height of 53 feet and a circumfrence of 71 inches, which equals a diameter of about 22.6 inches. Source: Big Trees of Delaware, 5th edition


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Redbud Tree


I like to drive from northern cold In late winter or the early spring, Down to warmer southern climes, Where trees are already blossoming. My sullen heart will get an early lift, When I reach the middle states; And see how Nature, south to north, Sweetly shrugs off her winter weights. White blossoms will accent forest edge, And how yellow the early forsythia will be; But, what moves me most, every time, Is the bloom of the lovely redbud tree. Pinkish-red flowers on long, lean branches, It can take any shape it needs to be. It can grow tall, and it can reach out wide, But the flowers are what most impress me. Those colors unique to the forest setting, And none too numerous for one to see; So, one is constantly on the lookout for That one-of-a-kind, southern redbud tree. Nature, in all its wondrous glory, Has produced much prettier things, for sure; But, something within me moves each time I feel the flowering redbud tree's allure. Bill Galvin


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Also in bloom right now, hidden away in the woodlands, is the tiny Wood Anemone Anemone quinquefolia. Wood Anemone is often found in thick mats of plants which have spread via rhizomes. Related to Buttercups, both of which are mildly poisionous.


Wood Anemone mat amongst the skunk cabbages


Wood Anemone - Steve Childers photo 4/7/2023



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