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Cercis racemosa Oliver

Modern name

Cercis racemosa Oliv.

A deciduous tree up to 40 ft high, with downy young branchlets. Leaves heart-shaped, 212 to 5 in. long, 2 to 4 in. wide, glabrous and dark green above, paler and downy all over beneath, especially on the veins. Racemes up to 4 in. long, downy, carrying as many as thirty or forty flowers, which are under 12 in. in length, rose-coloured. Pod 3 to 4 in. long, 34 in. wide, flat, glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 9316.

Native of China, in the provinces of Hupeh and Szechwan. The beauty and distinctness of this species had been known to us ever since it was discovered by Henry about 1886, but it was not introduced until 1907, when Wilson collected seed for Harvard University. It is remarkably distinct from all other species in the comparatively long inflorescence; and the downy character of the young wood, leaf, and flower-stalk is also well marked. Wilson told me that this is one of the very best and most beautiful flowering trees he has introduced. Like the European Judas-tree it flowers on the naked wood, one to many years of age. It comes from 6,000 ft altitude in N.W. Hupeh. There is a fine tree at Borde Hill, Sussex, about 36 ft high (1967), and it is also very good at Highdown in the same county and at East Bergholt Place, Suffolk.



Other species in the genus