Last spring I mentioned how the western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) is visually interesting throughout the year – a tree for all seasons.
This legume, or member of the pea family, is a native shrub or small tree found below about 4,000 feet throughout the west. In early spring the buds give redbud a purple hue and, as they bloom, the buds turn the shrub into a vivid, magenta (purplish) burst of color. The leaves, coppery at first, turn green and contrast with the purple legumes, or seed pods, throughout the summer. After the first frosts the leaves turn yellow or bright red. After the deciduous leaves fall the purple seed pods remain on the trees throughout the winter. No matter when one sees a western redbud it is attractive.
On the Lower Pit River below the Lake Britten Dam (CA), the redbud leaves are beginning to turn color – beautiful. The seed pod pictures were taken in the same area late in the summer.
“A Man for all Seasons”, by Robert Bolt about Sir Thomas More, is one of my favorite plays and was altered for the post title.
The western redbud is not the only “tree for all seasons” – however, in my opinion, it is one of the most dramatic.