PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Redbud

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Cercis Canadensis / Fabaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Eastern redbud, Mexican redbud,Texas redbud

CONDITIONS: partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLEcid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

young

 

RAW/COOK

Spring

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

 

RAW/COOK

Spring

Flowers

 

RAW/COOK

Spring

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Pods

young

 

RAW/COOK

Summer

Seeds

young

 

RAW/COOK

Summer

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small

 

COMMENT: Flowers;  Leaves;  Seedpod. Flowers - raw or pickled. A nice refreshing acid taste, the flowers are rich in vitamin C and make a pleasant addition to salads. They can also be used as a condiment. The unopened buds are pickled or used as a caper substitute. There is some evidence that both the young seed pods (eaten like snow peas) and the young leaves can be eaten.(1) Buds raw, pickled or cooked. Flowers raw or cooked, young pods fried. Flowers fry nicely as well. Young leaves and seeds edible, raw or cooked. Regarding the flowers, the light colored upper part of the blossom is sweet, the darker lower part is bitter. Some folks removed the lower bitter part before eating.The flowers can be pickled. (2)

 

CAUTION: The plant is reported to contain a toxic saponin. Although toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down to a large extent in the cooking process. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans. (1)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  On a zero moisture basis, the seed contains 22.9 - 27.5% protein, 7.7 - 8.8% fat and 3% ash. (This report does not say if the seed is edible. (1) More so, a 2006 study show the flowers (high in Vitamin C) and the seeds to be very high in antioxidants as well as linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid. The seeds also have oleic and palmitic acids. Think of it as The First Foragerís Health Food Store.(2) Astringent;  Cancer;  Febrifuge;  Pectoral. A tea made from the inner bark is highly astringent. Used in the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea and dysentery, it is also a folk remedy for leukaemia. A cold infusion of the roots and inner bark have been used to treat various chest complaints including whooping cough and congestion.(1)

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Basketry;  Wood. The bark of young shoots is used in basket making. Wood - heavy, hard, not strong, close grained, takes a very fine polish.(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cercis+canadensis
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/eastern-red-bud-pea-pods-on-a-tree
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cercis_canadensis
  4. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/redbud.html (good photos)