USA Official State Tree of Oklahoma

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Eastern Redbud

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

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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.

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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.

Description:
  • 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.

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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:
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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

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Source:
Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture