Red Bud Trees

April 17, 2006

As I was driving around this weekend I couldn’t help but notice all of the Red Bud Trees in the area.

They are in full bloom and these colorful trees are absolutely covered with pinkish purple blossoms. At times the flowers can even be seen growing in clusters on the trunks of the trees.

Many of the Red Bud trees grow wild, but they are also a popular choice for ornamental landscape plantings and can be purchased at nurseries or from gardening suppliers on the Internet. Because the colorful blossoms are edible I classify this eye catching tree as an ornamental edible plant.

Red Bud trees have an attractive rounded shape that doesn’t require much in the way of pruning and is easy to maintain at a compact size in the home landscape.

The spring blossoms are followed by heart shaped leaves, and later seed pods are produced before the Red Bud tree closes the season with a showy display of yellow.

If you’d like to try the edible blossoms just run your hand along a branch to gently strip off the edible flowers. As with any edible flower or wild plant be sure that you make a positive identification before eating. The Red Buds are best enjoyed just before opening or within a few days after the flowers start blooming.

The blossoms have a mild, slightly sweet flavor that can be snacked on out of hand or used to add a touch of color and interest to fresh leafy green salads. The edible flowers also make a great garnish.

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