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Wild types of redbud, i.e., not named cultivars, always develop seed pods. They first show up in midsummer as small, green, peapod-like fruits, eventually growing to 2 to 3 inches in length and turning dark maroon or brown as they mature. Wild redbuds reseed easily where pods fall, and a scattering of young redbud seedlings tend to spring up around the parent plant.
Greenbelt area near a stream.
Although the Eastern redbud is rarely included in popular herbal texts, it provides medicinal, edible and economic uses in addition to its beauty. Many botanical accounts report that Native American and European American children enjoyed eating the fresh flowers of the Eastern redbud. They are soft and slightly sweet, and add instant color to salads or on cupcakes. The deep hue of the petals indicates the presence of healthful flavonoids, such as quercetin. Redbud flowers also are popular among bees and aid their honey production. Fresh seedpods are edible, as well, though they must be cooked and flavored with olive oil and a splash of vinegar. Seedpods quickly turn too astringent to eat if left on the tree too long. Sample one, and you'll experience all of your saliva drying up in your mouth.