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Signs of spring

Hearts of Gold is not your typical redbud.

Keeping your landscape diverse and exciting is getting easier. Lots of new plants are being discovered or hybridized each year. One beautiful Eastern redbud, ‘Hearts of Gold,’ shown below, was discovered in 2002 in North Carolina and specimens are already in garden centers.

The reddish-purple flowers of Eastern redbud emerge in March or early April and are a sure sign that it’s spring. Hearts of Gold has the usual flowers and heart-shaped leaves, but is unusual because its leaves are golden-yellow in the spring and change only slightly to yellow-green in the summer. Typically, golden or yellow leaves would burn if located in full sun, but the foliage of Hearts of Gold is known to be burn-resistant. You can feel confident planting it in full sun to part shade.

Redbuds are considered small trees, with most growing only 20 to 25 feet tall, and they tend to grow as wide as tall. Hearts of Gold is known to be vigorous in youth, reaching 12 to 15 feet in just five years, which helped it get on the market so quickly, but it matures to average height. Plant in moist but well-drained soil. Redbuds are considered drought-resistant once established.

If you are considering planting a flowering tree this year and want something just a little bit different, try Hearts of Gold. It can be found with a single trunk or multitrunked, and can even be trained into a tall hedge. You can plant one beautiful specimen or a whole grouping if you have the room.

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