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South Carolina's redbuds are in bloom

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Cercis canadenis, redbuds are in bloom in South Carolina and what a distinctive and lovely understory tree they are. Why they’re called redbuds is a mystery to me as the flowers are a soft purple – there are some white cultivars, but none are red. Like dogwoods, redbuds are happiest in partial shade; they aren’t picky about soil but don’t plant them where the soil stays damp; they won’t tolerate wet feet. They have the interesting habit of taking a slight zigzag at every new branch which makes them favorites of people like me who like to use sticks in flower arrangements – nothing in the world as boring as a straight stick, not much of an accent. Redbuds are in the pea family and the flowers are edible, and as the color is so lovely some people put then in salads.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.