Golden Falls® RedbudCercis canadensis 'NC2015-12' (PP# 31,658)
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Cercis canadensis 'NC2015-12' (PP# 31,658)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Golden Falls® Redbud is a breakthrough in redbud varieties – it’s the first weeping redbud that also has golden leaves. The stems cascade from a central trunk, and it can be trained to 10 feet tall, or even more. The side-branches cascade down gracefully, carrying the early-spring blossoms of vibrant purple-pink, and the heart-shaped leaves. These begin a soft dusky orange, then turn bright golden yellow, and mature to lime-yellow – always bright and vibrant. This is an excellent garden specimen for all gardens, with many uses in beds or natural settings.
Full sun gives the strongest leaf colors on your Golden Falls® Redbud, but it grows well in partial shade. Rich, moist, well-drained soil is best, but once established it is drought resistant and tough. This fast-growing plant isn’t bothered by pests or diseases, and besides staking it needs no special care at all.
One of the most valuable features of some garden plants is a weeping habit – the graceful form of cascading branches is always an attractive garden feature, and contrast with the more usual upright and rounded forms. Another is golden foliage, which really ‘pops’ in the landscape, but doesn’t clash with other colors, and has a sophisticated charm that is always admired. A third would be early blooming – we value shrubs that ‘jump the gun’ on spring and bring us early blossoms when we are still anxiously waiting for spring to arrive. In smaller gardens in particular that would mean at least three different plants – so how about a shrub that has all three? That would be a great addition to any garden, but especially a smaller one. This is exactly what you get from the Golden Falls® Redbud – handsome and enduring golden-green leaves, a graceful and space-saving cascading form, and a magnificent early-spring display of vibrant purple-pink blossoms, especially appealing on the bare, weeping branches. In spring you might take it for a weeping flowering cherry, but the bold heart-shaped leaves, like golden hearts on weeping branches, make it so much better than that. For sure, this marvelous shrub is sure to please.
The Golden Falls® Redbud is a deciduous weeping shrub with a central trunk and many cascading side branches, growing to 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide within the first few years. It can be staked taller, reaching 8 or 10 feet, and 4 feet wide within a decade, or left to cascade and broaden into a lower mound. The bark of the stems is a dark gray-brown, which looks especially attractive in winter. The branches grow naturally downwards, and support is needed until they become thick enough to hold themselves up, leaving the side branches cascading gracefully to the ground. This variety is a breakthrough – the first weeping redbud with golden foliage. The leaves are shaped like broad hearts, 4 inches wide and 3 inches long, tapering to a pointed tip. The new leaves are briefly dusky orange, then they turn bright lemon yellow, maturing to a lime yellow color that lasts well all through the summer months.
This shrub is one of the very first to bloom in spring, at the first sign that winter has passed. It flowers profusely, sending out clusters of blooms everywhere, even directly on the surface of older stems. These open on the bare branches, and although the individual flowers are small, they are abundant, and their bright purple-pink color really stands out, making this plant a wonderful feature in your garden, worth growing just for the blooming. This variety rarely produces the large brown seed pods seen on older varieties of redbud.
The slender weeping form of this plant makes it ideal for smaller gardens, compared to full-sized redbuds which can be 20 feet or more tall and wide. It makes a wonderful feature in any garden beds, contrasting well with colors like dark green or purple-red foliage. Because it can be staked, you get to determine the final height, and you could even remove them immediately and have this as a low plant, cascading over a wall or spilling down a slope.
You can grow the Golden Falls Redbud easily in zones 5 to 8, and in zone 9 in the northeast. It also grows in warmer parts of zone 4 – choose a sheltered spot protected from the coldest winter winds.
Full sun will give the best leaf color on your Golden Falls Redbud, and too much shade will make it turn greener more quickly in spring. However, in hotter zones a little afternoon shade will be beneficial, protecting it from leaf scorch, and you should protect it from becoming too dry. This is a shrub that thrives in rich, moist but well-drained soils, both acid and alkaline. Water regularly during the first couple of seasons, and soak mature plants deeply from time to time during the height of summer dryness – although established plants are pretty drought resistant.
Pests and diseases normally leave the Golden Falls Redbud alone, but deer may cause some damage. A little shrub fertilizer in spring is valuable when it is young, but otherwise no particular care is needed. Staking is important, so decide early on the final height you want and drive in a strong, durable stake close beside the trunk – remove any existing stakes. Enough length should show above the ground for the final height you have chosen. Choose a flexible stem sprouting from the top of the existing trunk and bend it upward, attaching it to the stake, tying it in as it grows until you reach the top. Then let it grow naturally. Tie securely but loosely, and check older ties are not cutting into the stem.
The eastern redbud, Cercis canadensis, grows throughout the east from the Great Lakes into northern Florida, and westwards to Texas and Nebraska. In recent years breeders have been releasing many wonderful new forms, and Dr. Dennis Werner is the J.C. Raulston Distinguished Professor of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University, is one of the main and best breeders. He and his assistants do this work at the Sandhills Research Station near Pinehurst, and typically do a hand-cross and then collect seeds from the offspring – this allows unusual features to become visible. In 2009 he crossed a weeping, green-leaf variety called ‘Covey’ with a golden-leaf upright variety called ‘Hearts of Gold’. When he grew the seeds produced by the offspring of that cross, he found what he wanted – the first golden-leaf weeping redbud. In 2015 he selected a single plant, and officially named it ‘NC2015-12’. It was patented to benefit the University in 2020, after testing it for garden value and reliability. The Conard-Pyle Nursery Company of Pennsylvania registered the trademark name Golden Falls® and released this great tree to nurseries under their brand, Star® Roses and Plants.
The unique Golden Falls® Redbud has attracted lots of attention, and we know it comes from a reliable breeder, and you are really going to love it. It has gained lots of publicity, and the demand is high, so order now while our limited stock is available.