Scarification: Soak in hot tap water, let stand in water for 24 hours, repeat process on seed that did not imbibe
Stratification: cold stratify for 60 days
Germination: sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Other: if boiling water treatment does not allow seed to imbibe, sulfuric acid treatment is required
The Cercis canadensis, commonly known as Eastern Redbud, Northern Zone 5 Eastern Redbud, or simply Redbud, is a small tree with a sturdy upright trunk that divides into stout branches. It usually forms a broad flat head and is found on rich bottom lands throughout the Mississippi River valley. This tree can grow in shaded areas and often becomes a dense undergrowth in the forest. The Eastern Redbud can also be planted as a landscape ornamental plant due to its attractive appearance. It prefers deep sandy loam and a very sunny position and is successful in most soils and pH types, except wet clay soils. This tree produces blossoms that are raw or pickled, with a nice refreshing acid taste. The flowers are rich in vitamin C and can be used as a condiment. The unopened buds are pickled or used as a caper substitute. This tree is difficult to grow as far west as Western Kansas and Colorado due to insufficient water, but it grows well in New York State, New Jersey, and southwards. The Eastern Redbud can mature up to 30 feet tall, and its bark is red-brown with deep fissures and a scaly surface. Its leaves are alternate, heart-shaped or ovate, and turn bright yellow in autumn. The flowers are perfect, papilionaceous, and are rose-colored, enclosed in the bud by the wings, and encircled by the broader keel petals. The Eastern Redbud fruit is a legume that is rose-colored and falls in early winter. This tree is suitable for use as nursery stock and is known for its palatable taste to humans and medium palatable browse animal.