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Monday, April 29, 2013

Redbuds, Adaptable and Resilient Beauties



'Forest Pansy' Redbuds add a welcome splash of spring color to the northwest corner of the Mitchell Building.

Eastern Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) are native to a far larger portion of the eastern United States than the much better known Flowering Dogwood tree.  While the USDA map shows both being present in Kansas, there may be all of fifteen native Flowering Dogwoods trees growing in natural populations in Eastern Kansas (fifteen may be generous as I have never seen one growing in the wild myself in that area) while there are millions of Redbuds in Eastern Kansas that are impossible to miss.  To see the vast numbers of purplish pink flowered Redbuds of Eastern Kansas come into bloom alongside of the fragrant white flowers of Sandplum thickets is to witness one of North America's most spectacular large scale floral displays.  Redbuds usually grow at the edge of woods where that they receive a lot of sun and are very visible.














The above six pictures are of an Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) located East of Worcester Hall.



Being able to thrive in extreme climates such as in Kansas means that Redbuds are much more adaptabile and resilient trees than Flowering Dogwoods.  Redbuds are also able to thrive in poorer and drier soils than Flowering Dogwoods.  Redbuds have the most flowers when planted in full sun; however, will grow in partial shade also.  They seem to reach their maximum growth potential and maximum longevity if planted on the north side of a building, far enough out that they get full sun, but do not get reflected heat.

Have seen extreme natural variation in tree size and density of foliage within very small areas in natural populations.  A few of the smaller forms are almost shrub like.  Some trees can get an attractive reddish brown exfoliating bark on their trunks as they mature.  Redbuds are often multi-stemmed trees in the wild and are sometimes sold in nurseries as multi-stemmed specimens.  I once saw a magnificent old multi-stemmed tree in Kansas City, Kansas that had beautiful reddish brown exfoliating bark on its 15 inch plus branches.  The form was very much like as if you chopped off the entire single stemmed trunk in the first picture below, leaving a broad spreading multi-stemmed tree.

There are white flowered forms of the Eastern Redbud; however, the older and more common ones that I am aware of that are usually available in the nursery industry are from southern sources and do not have good winter hardiness in northern areas.  Hoping that someone will start propagating some of the white forms from more northern sources such as the small native population of white flowered Eastern Redbuds that I saw along I-70 in Eastern Ohio a number of years ago as selections from northern sources should be more cold hardy.

There are a number of different cultivars now of Eastern Redbud that were selected for different attributes such as weeping habits, variegated foliage, bright pink flowers etc.  The multi-colored newly emerged foliage of 'Forest Pansy' Redbud is magnificent.  When viewing from the under side of the leaf with the sun shining through, the leaves are primarily a beautiful intense dark red color with some bronzy yellow-green color near where that the leaf attaches to the petiole.  When viewing the upper side of the leaf with sunlight being reflected from the leaf, the leaf surface appears to be a purplish red color.







The above five photos are of a 'Forest Pansy' Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy') located Northwest of the Mitchell Building.


Mexican Redbud and Texas Redbud are varieties of the Eastern Redbud.  'Oklahoma,' is a very thick, large leaved plant that is a cultivar of the Texas Redbud.  There are four 'Oklahoma' Redbuds in the Chemistry Courtyard and one Eastern Redbud in the same location which makes comparison easy.

There are Redbuds of different species in many parts of the world.  One of the more commonly available non-native redbuds in our area is the Chinese Redbud (Cercis chinensis).  We have a cultivar of Chinese Redbud named 'Avondale' on the East side of LeFrak Hall.  Chinese Redbud is a smaller tree than the Eastern Redbud and is usually much more shrub like in appearance than are Eastern Redbuds.











The above ten pictures are of 'Avondale' Chinese Redbuds (Cercis canadensis 'Avondale') located on the East side of Lefrak Hall.



Additional information on Redbuds including different cultivars can be found by clicking on the links below to recent blog posts by horticulturists from Indiana and Ohio:

Les Belles Redbud Fleurs 

Continous Interest: A Cercis Sampler

Sam Bahr, author and photographer

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Contact Information for the University of Maryland Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Mailing and Shipping address (This is the location of our partner, UMD Landscape Services, and the office of our Assistant Director, Karen Petroff):
University of Maryland
Wye Oak Building (428)
4201 Landscape Ln.
College Park, MD 20742-7215
phone: 301-405-3320
fax: 301-314-9943
hours: 6 am to 2:30 pm, M-F

Horticulturist's Offices and Meeting Room (No mail delivery or shipping to this location):
University of Maryland
Arboretum Outreach Center (156)
3921 Stadium Dr.
College Park, MD 20742
phone: 301-405-3320
fax: 301-314-9943
hours: 7 am to 3:30 pm, M-F, by appointment or prescheduled times only, as sometimes everyone is out on campus and the building will be locked

Click on the below link to a campus map, click on the address search tab and then enter the campus locations to find out where buildings are located. As of September 10, 2015, Google does not have the correct locations, while this map does. http://maps.umd.edu/addressing/ There is a second, more complex, interactive campus map that has much more information on it such as parking locations, public transportation etc. when you use the red 'layers' tab. http://maps.umd.edu/map/ The red 'directions' tab will allow you to get directions from one building to another.

blog administrator, Sam Bahr, 301-405-7926 or 301-405-3320
e-mail: sbahr@umd.edu

updated 10/6/2015

Parking

Our gardens are free and open to the public. There are some parking lots (read the signs for that parking lot carefully) that are free to park in after 4 pm and before 7 am and on weekends, except on game days and during other special events. There is public parking in four large parking garages at the rate of $3 per hour with a daily maximum of $15. On weekends in the garages, the rate is $3 per hour with a daily maximum rate of $5 per hour. There is a small amount of additional pay parking along some streets. Navigation around campus is much easier with these interactive campus maps: http://maps.umd.edu/map/. You can look up parking locations and building locations using this map. Use the search tab to bring up the page to search for campus building names, locations and addresses.

updated 10/6/2015


Butterfly feeding on the nectar of Russian Sage blossoms

General Information about the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The University of Maryland, the state’s flagship campus, is located in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The American Association of Public Gardens, by designating the university as an arboretum and botanical garden in 2008, recognized former President C.D. Mote, Jr.’s commitment to becoming a green campus. Maryland is also the first university in the state to be honored as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden consists of our entire 1,250 acre College Park, Maryland campus. The Campus collection of over 8,000 trees, garden plantings and nearly 400 acres of undeveloped urban forest is a beautiful reminder of Maryland’s history and a harbinger of Maryland’s future. The university looks at the campus’ green space as a major resource for its educational, research and service missions.

Hornbake Plaza

Hornbake Plaza
Honeylocust fall foliage color

UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden Plant Inventory

You can look up the identity of many trees and a few other plant materials using this interactive campus map: http://maps.umd.edu/map/. Click on proceed to map. Then click on the dark red 'layers' tab in the upper left corner. Next select 'Arboretum and Botanical Garden' and then click on the box in front of 'campus plant inventory.' Wait for green dots to slowly fill up the map, then click on the green dots on the campus map to identify the plant materials.

Our plant inventory or plant collections database can also be considered a plant database, plant search, plant locator, plant finder, plant collection database, living collections management system, plant records system or plant mapping system for campus plantings.

updated 1/6/16

Photo of the Interactive Campus Map Showing the Campus Plant Inventory

Photo of the Interactive Campus Map Showing the Campus Plant Inventory

Tawes Plaza Gardens

Tawes Plaza Gardens
Kim's Knee High Purple Coneflower, Russian Sage, White Out Rose and Dwarf Pampas Grass are featured in this planting in 2010.