Nature is a silent teacher. In its company you will find your answers. ~ Hints Of Life
As I sat in the shade of the beautiful Eastern Redbud tree this Sunday afternoon, I heard an adorable ‘whooping’ sound(s) coming from the tree. Only to realize – two big yellow striped honeybees were flying around the reddish purple flowers on the tree. Though a little scared of the bees (I confess here) I stayed put where I was sitting to observe their fascinating behavior. And soon I realized that the honeybees were in the process of pollination. They use the flowers of the redbud tree for pollen. I have usually seen the honeybees dancing around the flowers in the garden and parks but watching them whooping and flying around the eastern redbud tree was a new experience.
I have also read that The Henry’s elfin butterfly (Callophyrus henrici) and hummingbirds utilize eastern redbud for nectar. I am definitely on a look out for these two beautiful creature. And it will be a lucky experience to see them around the eastern redbud tree.
Eastern redbud popularly known as redbud tree and Judas tree, is usually one of the first trees to bloom in spring. Its pink to reddish purple flowers are grown on old twigs, branches, and trunks.
Flowering occurs in March to May before leaf growth (as you see in the pictures). After bloom, the leaves begin to grow and gradually turns dark green. When mature, the alternately arranged leaves are about four inches long, four inches wide and heart shaped with prominent venation. The twigs are slender, spreading zigzag with short or dark brown knotty spurs.
An extraordinarily beautiful spring variety, eastern redbud is one of my favorites at the Riverside Park. As I sat under its shade, it was shinning in the gorgeous afternoon sunshine and looked eternal in the evening as the sun was going below the horizon. Not just me, but many other pass byers were attracted to its beauty. Planted so close to the river, I enjoyed the cool spring breeze and the beautiful views.
Eastern redbud occurs as scattered trees or in small populations. Even at the Riverside Park I see they are less in population. It is know to be an understory specie in open woods and is found on moist, loam or sandy soils in valleys or bottomlands. But its beauty, the lovely pink and reddish purple flowers makes it a very special tree. It attracts not just humans but also butterflies, birds and honeybees.
If you visit the Riverside Park anytime in Spring, I highly recommend the Easter Redbud. You too will be mesmerized by its grace and elegance.