Weedy but wonderful redbud

buds out at the end of April-early May, strutting its stuff alongside highways and abandoned roads. Then it explodes into bloom. There are a few I pass going to and from Ellis Island, in Liberty State Park.

No one pays them any mind.

But the tree also plays well with others, at home in a civilized suburban yard, behind a chainlink fence.

I love this specimen because of the magical way its blossoms stray from the expected place, bursting forth straight out of the bark on its branches and trunk, like the one I caught alongside a busy street in Austin. The botanical term for this habit is “cauliflory,” and I think I like it because it is just so preposterous.

Redbud’s fuchsia is a color unparalleled in nature. Soon it will have heart-shaped leaves.

Ezra Pound wrote of “petals on a wet dark bough.”

That’s redbud, ravishing and ephemeral. Just like spring.

1 Comment

Filed under Jean Zimmerman

One response to “Weedy but wonderful redbud

  1. Nancy

    It’s been my favorite for years on end. Blossoms growing out of the bark. And such color. I just got my own last fall and now it greets me every day. Stop by and take a look

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