USA Official State Tree of Oklahoma


Eastern RedbudTree, a state symbol

(Fabaceae Cercis canadensis)
Adopted in 1937; June 24, 1971


The Eastern Redbud, Fabaceae Cercis canadensis,  was adopted in 1937 as the state tree. The Redbud grows in the valleys and ravines of Oklahoma. In early spring, its reddish-pink blossoms brighten the landscape throughout the state.



Eastern redbud is a small, short-lived deciduous tree found throughout the eastern United States. Redbud is also known as Judas-tree. According to legend, Judas Iscariot hanged himself from a branch of the European species Cercis siliquastrum (13). Eastern redbud is a strikingly conspicuous tree in the spring because it flowers before other tree leaves form. The wood is heavy, hard, and close-grained, but because of the small size and irregular shape of the tree it is of no commercial value as a source of lumber. This tree is most valued as an ornamental and is extensively planted.

  • Leaf: Alternate, simple, cordate in shape with an entire margin, 3 to 5 inches long and wide. The leaves are thin and papery, and may be slightly hairy below.
  • Flower: Very showy, light to dark pink in color, 1/2 inch long, appearing in clusters in March to May, before the leaves.
  • Fruit: Fruits are flattened, dry, brown, pea-like pods, 2 to 4 inches long that contain flat, elliptical, brown seeds 1/4 inch long. Maturing in July to August.
  • Twig: Slender and zigzag, nearly black in color, spotted with lighter lenticels. Winter buds are tiny, rounded and dark red to chestnut in color.
  • Bark: Smooth, later scaly with ridges somewhat apparent. Dark in color. May have some maroon patches evident.
  • Form: A large shrub or small tree with a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches.


Senate Bill No. 143
An Act relating to forestry; ... providing state tree; ... and declaring an emergency.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Oklahoma:
SECTION 313. State tree - Redbud
The redbud shall be adopted and the same be made the official tree of this state.
Approved June 24, 1971. Emergency.
[Codified in the Oklahoma Statutes in Title 2, Section 1301-313, which is in Article III, General Forestry Laws, of the Oklahoma Forestry Code, Chapter 28 of Title 2.]
Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae –
Order Fabales –
Family Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus Cercis L. – redbud
Species Cercis canadensis L. – eastern redbud


Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture