Drab-colored seed pods of the autumn hung,
Like beggar's tatters, on the red-bud boughs
From "Nature-Notes and Impressions" by Madison Cawein
The purple tinge that appears in the woods as you view them from a distance, caused by the emerging flowers of Redbud trees, is one of my favorite signs of spring. The color gradually lightens to lavender or pink as the flowers open. Along with the bright green hues of the earliest trees whose leaves are emerging at this time, these pink patches give the wooded landscape subtle pastel shades.
The large, dark green, heart shaped leaves of the Redbud begin to emerge near the end of the blooming period. They are very attractive and make a dense shade under the tree.
The flat, round seeds grow in numerous pea-type pods hanging all over the tree. The pods turn brown by fall and remain on the tree throughout the winter. Bobwhite Quail and some song birds eat the seeds.
Redbud grows at the edges of woods and in thin or open areas, not in the full shade of tall trees. A small tree, it is very popular, often seen as ornamental specimens in yards and in commercially landscaped areas.