Plant Finder Tool


Merlot Redbud

Cercis canadensis 'Merlot'

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Merlot Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Merlot') at Rainbow Gardens

Merlot Redbud flowers

Merlot Redbud flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Merlot Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Merlot') at Rainbow Gardens

Merlot Redbud foliage

Merlot Redbud foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Other Names:  Eastern Redbud, Judas Tree, Love Tree


A spectacular bloomer, with showy lavender-pink flowers held tightly on bare branches in early spring; glossy heart-shaped leaves emerge deep purple, progress to burgundy, then green in summer; heat and drought tolerant; an incredible color accent tree

Ornamental Features

Merlot Redbud has lavender pea-like flowers with pink overtones along the branches from early to mid spring, which emerge from distinctive violet flower buds before the leaves. It has attractive dark green-variegated burgundy foliage which emerges deep purple in spring. The glossy heart-shaped leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Merlot Redbud is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Disease

Merlot Redbud is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Merlot Redbud will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Garden 
Flowers  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for current availability. It does not include our entire selection of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.