Today’s the Day to Check the Redbuds

Redbud phenology on 4 May 1915 and 2017 (photo of herbarium specimens collected at Powers Run, O’Hara Twp, housed at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh)

4 May 2023

Today, May 4, is the same day of the year that two redbud (Cercis canadensis) specimens were collected at Powers Run in O’Hara Township, Allegheny County somewhere near this dropped pin. They are pictured side-by-side above from the Botany Collection at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

The specimen on the left is just beginning to flower on 4 May 1915. The specimen on the right, collected 102 years later on 4 May 2017, is in full leaf with incipient seed pods.

It’s been six years since the 2017 specimen was collected and in that time climate change seems to have sped up. How are the redbuds affected this year? Did the cold wet weather slow them down? How big are the leaves? Are there seed pods yet?

Today’s the day to check the redbuds and see how much our crazy climate change weather has made a difference in 108 years.

p.s. On my trip to Enlow Fork on 26 April I noted that, surprisingly, there was no big change to blooming times of Enlow’s flowers this year.

(photo by Kate St. John taken at the We Are Nature exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in November 2017)

2 thoughts on “Today’s the Day to Check the Redbuds

  1. My redbud that I got from Trees Pittsburgh in Autumn 2020 has not flowered yet. It had small leaves on it April 14.

  2. In Rural Valley, Armstrong County, our two redbuds are still blooming and have been for about 1 1/2 weeks.

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