A seedling redbud (below) growing in a dense patch of mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) almost certainly derives from a dark leafed ‘Forest Pansy’ (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’) that once grew nearby. The Forest Pansy perished as the soil became overly damp, but this seedling is in slightly higher and drier ground. The seedling is too close to a Japanese maple, so if I choose to grow it on I must transplant it. But, is this worthwhile?
The seedling now stretches to at least three feet tall in its second year, but a good pull after a rain would easily remove it if that’s what I choose. The red new growth is not unusual. Despite its parentage, it is evident that the leaves quickly turn to green as they mature, so this is likely not to be anything special. Still, what does it hurt?
Very likely I’ll wait until late autumn when it goes dormant, then dig it out and pot it. By doing this, I can monitor the seedling as I do handfuls of Japanese maples to see if they turn out to be anything different. Almost never are there any noticeable differences, but the red leafed maples do well sitting in containers sitting on the patios, so it’s not a complete waste of time.
In November I planted a large redbud that is a sport (mutation) of the yellow leafed ‘Rising Sun’ (above and below). Certainly, the tree is not an improvement over ‘Rising Sun’, but I noticed it in a tree grower’s field in the mountains of North Carolina amongst hundreds of yellow leafed redbuds, and there’s something to say about having a tree that’s unique, perhaps the only one that exists. No, this doesn’t mean it’s worth anything, but the tree looked to be a vigorous grower, and as its leaves emerge this spring with varied colors and mottling I’m quite happy to have it. I expect the variegation to become more distinct as the leaves mature, and I’m curious to see what becomes of leaves that are now all green or all yellow.
If the garden was not curious enough, with new revelations daily, the two redbuds are a curiosity that will demand regular examinations through the year.