|Oklahoma redbud flowers|
|Texas redbud flowers|
First the flowers. I’ll discuss Oklahoma first, but only because it is alphabetical. Oklahoma redbud has richly colored magenta flowers, on the cool side of the color range. Texas redbud has warm colored magenta flowers. The flowers are very similar in size and shape. Although the photos show very similarly colored flowers, in the landscape, the contrast between cool and warm magenta is apparent. If you’ve ever seen warm reds against cool reds, it can be jarring. I think that the magenta is less jarring than the cool vs. warm reds, but that’s just my opinion. So far, there does not seem to be a difference in how floriferous they are.
|Oklahoma redbud leaf|
|Texas redbud leaf|
Although when I purchased them, the leaves looked similar, in growth they are different. Oklahoma redbud has thick glossy leaves that are distinctly round (reniformis = "kidney shaped"). Texas redbud has matte leaves, that are round-ISH, but not nearly as round. They are in fact primarily heart shaped, especially in the leaves formed early in the season, or not drought stressed (most of the leaves have a point, like the one on the left of the photo - not so reniformis).
|Oklahoma redbud growth|
|Texas redbud growth|
The biggest difference between the two is that the growth of the two redbuds are dramatically different. Oklahoma redbud put out about four inches of growth from the top shoots, about 12 inches on the lowest branches, and then stopped. When the summer monsoons arrived, no new growth occurred. It is a very compact grower so far in its first year, and the branches are primarily horizontal, with no dominant upright leader. Growing in the same area, Texas redbud has not stopped growing since it leafed out in the spring, and still has new leaves forming as of today. It has put on about 6 feet of growth (that’s right, feet), which is primarily vertical, although the branches become more horizontal as you go down the tree, so that the lowest branches at ground level are horizontal.
So there you have it. Similar flowers, but dramatically different leaves and growth.