Genus Cercis, L. (Red Bud)
Leaves - simple; alternate; edge entire. Outline - round heart-shape. Apex - tapering and rather blunt, sometimes with a short bristle. Base - heart shape. Leaf/Stem - smooth and swollen at each end into a sort of knob. Leaf - usually about four to five inches long and wide; rather thin, smooth above and below; with seven prominent ribs radiating from the end of the leaf-stem. Flowers - reddish, acid, usually abundant in small clusters along the branches; appearing before the leaves. March to May. Fruit - a small, many-seeded, flat pod, winged along the seed-bearing stem. Seeds - reverse egg-shape. Found - in rich soil, Western Pennsylvania, westward and southward. Common in cultivation. General Information - A small and fine ornamental tree, with long, flat-leaved branches. The name "Judas tree" is traditional. "This is the tree whereon Judas did hang himself, and not the elder tree, as it is said." From a Greek word meaning "shuttle," because of the shuttle-shaped pod.
Newhall, Charles S. The Trees of North-Eastern America (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1900) 13
Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman