Cercis Canadensis ‘Merlot’

Cercis Canadensis ‘Merlot’

Eastern Redbud Merlot


SKU: 205674


Family Fabaceae
Originating from E. USA

A large shrub or small tree that is deceptively tough given its dark foliage display. It flowers on its bare branches before the foliage appears, and then leafs up into such a dense and abundant crown of striking colour that it grabs the attention, even from a distance.

This variety may form a single-stemmed tree that can be pruned to have a clear trunk, with its lower branches removed or simply cleared of foliage, or it may be left to form a dense and wider shrub. Its rich purple and semi-glossy heart-shaped leaves are held alternately on each side of the branches, each one with a strongly veined pattern. The branches are stiffly upright when the plant is young but soon begin to widen out, potentially forming a plant as wide as it is tall.

The new foliage in spring is a dark and rich burgundy/purple colour, then as the season progresses the purple colour appears most intensely at the tips of the branches, with leaves closer to the base of the branches mellowing to a deep, shiny grey/green. The leaves in between graduate from one colour extreme to the other, giving the crown a 3d depth from its interior to the outer growth. This architectural quality to the foliage quality may merit experimentation with hard pruning, by keeping the plant pollarded back from its potential 4m mature height.

If well fed and watered in a deep and rich soil the plant should grow vigorously, producing even larger foliage. The floral display in spring is an added bonus, with bigger and brighter pink flowers than other Cercis varieties, beginning this outstanding variety’s spring and summer contribution to the garden with a bang. The clusters of bright cerise-pink blooms are held tightly to the branches, each one curved in on itself in a shrimp-like formation. They last several weeks and fade as the foliage begins to emerge.

Cercis are easy plants to grow and will tolerate most soil types, although they perform best in deep and rich soil. This variety is robust for a purple foliage plant, not scorching in sun and exposure to wind.

Height and spread after 4 – 5 years 2.5m x 2.5m
Mature height and spread after 7 – 8 years if not pruned 4m x 4m


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Urban Jungle Suffolk

London Road, Weston,
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Urban Jungle Norfolk

Ringland Lane, Old Costessey,
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