Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana

Mexican redbud

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana (Mexican redbud)
Waitt, Damon E.
Deciduous 5-12 feet multi-stemmed shrub or small tree. Leaves simple, cordate, alternate, leathery, glossy green, with undulating margins. Flowers red. Fruit a pod to 10 cm long.

Mexican redbud is smaller in stature, has smaller, glossier, and more wavy-edged leaves, and is more drought tolerant than Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis).

Image Gallery:

9 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Cordate , Reniform
Leaf Venation: Palmate
Leaf Pubescence: Tomentose
Leaf Margin: Entire
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Size Notes: 10-15 ft normally, but can reach 25 ft and grow much taller than that in northeastern Mexico
Leaf: silvery green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Flower: Flowers 1/2 inch long
Fruit: Green or brown or red, 2-4 inches
Size Class: 6-12 ft. , 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr


Native Distribution: Texas west of the Pecos River south into Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico
Native Habitat: Hilly and mountainous areas, usually in calcareous soils

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Calcareous, limestone-based sands, loams, clays, often rocky
Conditions Comments: One of three Cercis canadensis varieties naturally occurring in Texas, the Mexican redbud is shorter and more compact in Texas than the others and is more likely to have multiple trunks. The leaves tend to be darker, smaller, and slightly ruffled along the margins. South into northeastern Mexico it reaches greater heights than it does in Texas. Like other redbuds, Mexican redbud is stunning in bloom.


Use Ornamental: Blooms ornamental, Attractive, Understory tree, Accent tree or shrub
Use Wildlife: Browse, Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-moths, Seeds-granivorous birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Henrys Elfin butterfly
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
(Microtia elva)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2015-11-12