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Redbud cultivars

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Redbuds make our woodlands beautiful with their early purple/pink flowers. Breeders have gone to town with this native and all sorts of cultivars are available. Normally after the lovely flowers, the leaves that follow are heart-shaped and light green, darkening as they mature. But some new redbuds have foliage as stunning as the flowers. ‘Forest Pansy’ was the first to become popular, with burgundy leaves, ‘Hearts of Gold’ offers vivid golden yellow spring leaves, ‘Rising Sun’ has apricot new leaves which become golden in color until settling on bright green. If none of these tempts you there is ‘Carolina Sweetheart’ which after the normal pink flowers unfurls maroon leaves which then maybe white, green and hot pink, until finally settling on green with white margins. I’m interested in one called ZigZag as its branches take dramatic turns at each node.

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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.