Redbud – Seed Pods

Q: I have a three year-old ‘Oklahoma’ redbud. This summer there appears to be something growing off a limb that looks like a small green bean. It is an inch in length and is black. What is it?

A: It’s a seed pod. Note that it looks like a butterbean, which tells you that redbud is a member of the Fabaceae (bean) family. Cercis reniformis ‘Oklahoma’ is one of the best redbuds for Georgia. It has shiny, deep green leaves and bears a profusion of bright pink-purple blooms in spring before almost any other flowering tree. Common redbud, Cercis canadensis, is a typical native understory tree. I also like C. canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’. It has intensely purple leaves in spring that fade to a dark green in summer.

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