Since redbuds were a favorite plant of the late J.C. Raulston, and a feature of the garden that bears his name, I assumed that I had seen or grown all of the known species. Boy was I wrong, as I learned from Scott McMahon, Manager of International Plant Explorations for the Atlanta Botanical Garden on a recent trip to Georgia. Cercis chuniana, which Scott brought in from China, is one of two species of redbuds with pendant racemes of flowers. The other is Cercis racemosa, which we’ve grown in our gardens since 1995. The foliage of C. chuniana is glaucous and quite unique, along with the flowers emerge white and age to pink. We look forward to this amazing new plant eventually becoming available to the public.
Pendant redbud flowers- now that is a beautiful sight. TY.
Any idea if the flowers are edible (like the native redbuds)?
Pretty sure that no one in this country have ever tried. So, what do the native ones taste like?
I forgot to try them this spring. But supposedly:
It is this very concentration of ascorbic acid that gives the fresh buds a not unpleasant sour bite. It is subtle and took me a couple of buds to identify, but the initial fresh “sweet-pea” flavor does give way to an understated acidic brightness.
Use: Eastern Redbuds can be used for its flowers, flowerbuds, and young pods. The flowers can be tossed into salad, the flowerbuds can be pickled, and the pods are good sautéed.