Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A large redbud tree blossoming

with 44 comments

Here’s how a large redbud tree, Cercis canadensis var. texensis, looked in the town of Cedar Park on March 17th. While no bright St. Patrick’s Day green put in an appearance here, the scene’s color scheme does remind us that before the middle of the 20th century Americans went with pink for baby boys and blue for baby girls. In the realm of geology rather than sociology, the magnetic polarity of the earth has also occasionally reversed. So have a few of my opinions, and presumably so have some of yours as well.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 25, 2021 at 4:28 AM

44 Responses

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  1. This I believe is the tree, or a close relative of, that known as the Judas tree. Its blooms are glorious, yet I adore it through all its seasons. Lovely to see it again. And yes, many of my views have changed, and continue to do so.


    March 25, 2021 at 4:43 AM

  2. You really surprised me with the info about pink being for baby boys and blue for girls! Intriguing… 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    March 25, 2021 at 7:06 AM

    • The pink~blue reversal came as a surprise to me, too, when I learned about it some years ago. While that change was a matter of fashion alone, other abrupt changes, like the recent alarming suppression of speech and even facts, have serious consequences.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 25, 2021 at 8:22 AM

      • Suppression of speech and facts can never be a good thing!

        Ann Mackay

        March 26, 2021 at 7:27 AM

        • So say you and so say I, but increasingly many people don’t feel that way. Never in my life have I witnessed anything so dangerous to freedom in this country.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 26, 2021 at 7:47 AM

  3. Such a beautiful tree. I wonder how your blooming trees are looking after the hail that rolled through Austin and the surrounding area last night; the quarter-sized that I saw could do some damage. Speaking of damage, I just read the latest NPSoT article about freeze damaged plants, and they happened to mention that the four-nerve daisy fared very well in San Antonio, along with other species. Mountain laurel was also listed as a probable survivor, so there’s hope for the coming weeks.

    As for reversals, there’s also the well-known reversal of fortune. Thinking about that reminded me of this.


    March 25, 2021 at 7:37 AM

    • The sound of rain awoke me in the middle of the night. Our bedroom’s bathroom has a skylight, and I think I would have distinguished hail from rain falling on it, but I didn’t hear that sharper kind of sound. Of course I could’ve been too much asleep for my senses to be up to par. The sky has already cleared here, so maybe later I’ll go out and see if I notice any obvious hail damage.

      Just minutes ago I read that NPSoT article, too. I’d say four-nerve daisies are indestructible. Yesterday they were the most common wildflower we saw at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County. And speaking of which, the town of Bertram had damaging winds and hail the other day:


      As for that Phil Ochs song, I think I first heard it sung by Joan Baez. Later I saw Phil Ochs in person when he performed at Columbia in 1966 or thereabouts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 25, 2021 at 8:42 AM

      • Looks like I was too sleepy to notice. Eve says she did hear the plink of what must have been hail, and a local television station is reporting that Austin got some.

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 25, 2021 at 8:54 AM

  4. The pink on your photo of the redbud tree is beautiful. I once read that the reversal of the earth’s polarity has changed several times and is used to determine the age of certain rock formations.

    Peter Klopp

    March 25, 2021 at 8:09 AM

    • I’ve heard about that change in polarity letting geologists date certain rocks. Clever folks, those geologists.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 25, 2021 at 8:43 AM

  5. Lots of this one around here. Very pretty.

    Alessandra Chaves

    March 25, 2021 at 9:03 AM

  6. Redbuds bear prolific seed pods and can spread to become a nuisance. The young, tender pods are edible — cannot speak for the taste.


    March 25, 2021 at 9:26 AM

    • I’m not aware that they’ve become a nuisance anywhere in my area. I wonder if the greater rainfall in your part of the country is a factor.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 25, 2021 at 9:39 AM

  7. What a gorgeous tree! I had two young ones, planted in our front yard. A hit and run driver veered off the road and took out the biggest one, and did damage to the smaller, which died the next year. The smaller one is coming back from the roots.

    Lavinia Ross

    March 25, 2021 at 10:29 AM

    • I’m sorry to hear about the damage to your two redbuds. Let’s hope the one that’s coming back eventually gets as big as the one in this photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 25, 2021 at 2:39 PM

  8. A real beauty !


    March 25, 2021 at 10:32 AM

  9. Gorgeous!

    Eliza Waters

    March 25, 2021 at 2:22 PM

  10. Pink-n-Purdy!


    March 25, 2021 at 6:01 PM

  11. the State Tree of Oklahoma! (I got seed and now have at least one baby!)


    March 25, 2021 at 11:44 PM

  12. That’s one GRAND redbud! There is a very large redbud down a few blocks from us at the city park, but all of the redbuds on our property are small in comparison. They tend to be a fragile tree here – just about the time they reach a lovely shape, a storm will come along and limbs give way. I do love their heart-shaped leaves and the way they dangle in the breeze.


    March 26, 2021 at 8:13 AM

    • Grand, yes, and the best one I’ve seen this season. It’ll probably hold on to that title because the redbud trees here are already leafing out. Is the large one in your city park putting on a good display this year, or is it still too early up there, especially with February’s winter storms? How many years do you think it will be till you can call the ones on your property large?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 26, 2021 at 8:56 AM

      • I haven’t been to the north end of the orchard to check out the park redbud since the blossoms are showing so I don’t know how grand it is this year – yet. I plan to mosey out that way this evening. There is a lot going on here right now, and I’m a bit overwhelmed with so much to keep up with!
        I wish I knew how old the park tree is. Most of ours here are less than twenty years old. There were some older trees but many were lost a few summers back. They just died in the middle of the summer for no apparent reason. I love investigating why these things happen, but sometimes there is no explanation. Hopefully I live long enough to see the current redbuds reach that “grand” status!


        March 26, 2021 at 2:57 PM

        • You overwhelmed with things to do? I thought you’re living a life of leisure up there. (Okay, so we do know you’ve got lots of responsibilities.) If your park redbud turns out to be having a good flowering season, maybe you can incorporate pictures of it into a post.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 26, 2021 at 3:15 PM

          • We drove out to check on fences and have a leisurely buggy ride yesterday evening, and I was able to see the park redbud across the road. It looks as if the north half of the tree may have died out, which is typical of redbuds, but the other half was in full bloom. It didn’t seem as spectacular as other years though. With the arrival of the Siberian storm just about the time tree buds were burgeoning and then noting several freezes and frosts following, I’m not surprised we are not seeing any blossoms on fruit trees or early-blooming shrubs like quince or forsythia.


            March 27, 2021 at 9:12 AM

            • Sorry to hear half that redbud died out. It’s understandable that the remaining half, even in full bloom, didn’t have the panache that the full tree used to. You’re subject to many more freezes up there than we are down here, so I suspect you have more yearly variations in blooming than we do. In 2021 for once we joined you in that.

              Steve Schwartzman

              March 27, 2021 at 9:24 AM

  13. Okay, you’ve convinced me. We lost our paperbark maple last year and it’s been sitting there waiting for me to cut it down and replace it with something. I was thinking of a redbud and this pretty much pushed me over the edge.

    Steve Gingold

    March 28, 2021 at 5:12 AM

  14. It’s beautiful! I noticed some Redbuds in Calif. were in full bloom last week while on my way home from my daughter’s.


    April 1, 2021 at 9:31 AM

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