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The Plant Guide

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Eastern redbud

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

SIR-sis kan-ah-DEN-sis Audio

In early spring, 'Forest Pansy' awakens with a long-lasting profusion of bright purplish-pink blooms borne in clusters, before the leaves, along smooth gray branches. Its heart-shaped, blood-red leaves are finely veined and glossy when young, slowly turning a dark, purple-tinged green in full sun. Autumn foliage is a bouquet of reds, purples, oranges, and yellows. The plant's graceful branching structure stands out in winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics'Forest Pansy' produces new leaves throughout the season. It grows 15 to 25 feet tall with a slightly wider spread. Fairly trouble-free.

CareSite in full sun or partial shade. Adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions, but thrives in moist, well-drained soil.

PropagationRoot semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

ProblemsStem cankers and verticillium wilt can occur.

  • Genus : Cercis
  • Plant Height : 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Width : 15 to 30 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Bloom Time : Early Spring, Spring
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
View Comments


  1. marieneilonhart 06/27/2014

    Hello, I have some forest pansy trees and I'm not happy with the surrounding color scheme in the summer. The leaves are so dark, I can't think of what to plant to lighten the space up. I currently have pink peonies and purple lavender planted with it, and it's just not hitting the right note yet.

    1. renatebeam 08/12/2014

      Hi Marie, I just planted a forest pansy and planted "Jack frost" (I've also seen them called "silver heart" brunnera) with it. I love that the leaves are the same shape but the color is a definite contrast. I also planted Japanese painted fern (perfect match), black mondo grass and I think it's called maidenhair fern (black stems with bright green foliage) some some plumb / cinnamon coral bells and some dwarf green and white variegated sedge grass.
      I found these colors coordinate really well but still give some "pop"
      Good Luck!

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