Cercis occidentalis - Western Redbud
Western Redbud is a showy small tree, vibrant magenta in spring and handsome year round. It is entirely maintenance free. Most of the year it's dense with dark leaves and purple pods. In spring, hot pink blossoms cover every branch and twig, right on the wood. They keep blooming for weeks.
Native to California, Western Redbud thrives in zones 7-10 and is hardy down to 15 degrees. It's drought tolerant, deer proof, gorgeous in sun or shade, makes a terrific street tree or filler for the back forty.
Scarify the hard seed coat and soak seeds for a minimum of 24 hours in warm water, you should see the seed coats puff up, or swell. Surface sow, covering with a light layer of soil. Cold stratify for 30 days. Cover pot with plastic wrap and a rubber band to keep in heat and moisture. Place in a warm, sunny location, keep soil moist, but not soaking wet. Remove plastic wrap when you have seedlings.