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Uses

Toxic parts

The plant is reported to contain a toxic saponin[1]. 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. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].

Edible uses

Notes

Flowers - raw[2][3][4][5] or pickled[6][7][8]. A nice refreshing acid taste, the flowers are rich in vitamin C and make a pleasant addition to salads[183, K]. They can also be used as a condiment[9]. The unopened buds are pickled or used as a caper substitute[5]. On a zero moisture basis, the seed contains 22.9 - 27.5% protein, 7.7 - 8.8% fat and 3% ash[10]. (This report does not say if the seed is edible[K].)

Unknown part

Flowers

Material uses

The bark of young shoots is used in basket making[4][11]. Wood - heavy, hard, not strong, close grained, takes a very fine polish[12][4]. It weighs 40lb per cubic foot[13].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

A tea made from the inner bark is highly astringent[2][3][4][8][14]. Used in the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea and dysentery, it is also a folk remedy for leukaemia[14]. A cold infusion of the roots and inner bark have been used to treat various chest complaints including whooping cough and congestion[15].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Secondary canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[9]. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours in warm water then cold stratify for 3 months[16]. Sow spring in the greenhouse[17]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted out in their permanent positions as soon as possible[18]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[9].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cercis canadensis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in most soils and pH types, but dislikes growing in wet soils, especially when these are of clay[9]. Prefers a deep sandy loam and a very sunny position[18][19][20]. Succeeds in light shade[9]. Dislikes drought[9].

Although the dormant plant is cold-hardy, the young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. A fast-growing but short-lived tree in the wild[21]. It does not flower freely in Britain[22]. There is at least one named form, selected for its ornamental value[22]. This spcies is the state tree of Oklahoma[1]. The flowers are produced on the branches of the previous or earlier years, and also on the trunk of the plant[12]. Plants are susceptible to coral spot fungus, especially when growing in areas with cooler summers where the wood is not fully ripened[18]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[9]. A good bee plant[8]. Resents root disturbance, plants should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible, preferably in May, and should be kept well watered until established[18][22].

This species is one of the few members of the family Leguminosae that do not fix atmospheric nitrogen[23].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cercis canadensis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Cercis canadensis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Cercis canadensis
Genus
Cercis
Family
Leguminosae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Cercis canadensis.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Cercis canadensis.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Cercis canadensis.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Cercis canadensis.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.6 Sweet. M. Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West. Naturegraph Co. ISBN 0-911010-54-8 (1962-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.4 Vines. R. A. Trees of Central Texas. University of Texas Press ISBN 0-292-78958-3 (1987-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.69.79.8 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Coon. N. The Dictionary of Useful Plants. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-090-x (1975-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Britton. N. L. Brown. A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Dover Publications. New York. ISBN 0-486-22642-5 (1970-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    16. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    17. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.218.318.4 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    19. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
    20. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
    21. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    22. ? 22.022.122.2 Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    23. ? Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (1989-00-00)
    24. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)

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