Ace of Hearts Redbud

Botanical Name: Cercis canadensis ‘Ace of Hearts’

The Ace of Hearts Redbud is a compact, dwarf cultivar of the Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). This smaller deciduous tree usually has a single trunk with a rounded or dome-shaped canopy, which needs little or no pruning maintenance. It grows to a height of 9-12 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide, making it versatile in its landscape uses.

The Ace of Hearts blooms for two to three weeks in March and April and puts on a beautiful display. The pink-purple, pea-shaped flowers grow in slightly bigger clusters than on the species tree. The gray bark on the Ace of Hearts Redbud is similar to that of the species. This tree differs from the species, however, with its unusual zig zag twigs that bear the flowers and its heart-shaped leaves. 

The attractive leaves are slightly glossy and mature to a dark green color. The leaves measure approximately 2.5 inches in width. The leaves turn yellow in fall, giving a nice display. The long seed pods found on the species tree rarely develop on this cultivar. 

Cercis canadensis ‘Ace of Hearts’ is a useful tree in small landscapes. It works beautifully in containers or raised beds and close to patios and entrances to residences. Its upright frame contrasts and complements the weeping Laceleaf Japanese Maples – bringing a medium-textured foliage tree to a small garden or courtyard. It also works well in shrub planting beds, bringing seasonal interest and color.

The Ace of Hearts Redbud can be susceptible to Verticillium Wilt, when the soil is too wet. Canker can also be a problem.


Height: 9-12 ft.

Width: 10-15 ft.

Shape: Rounded/Dome-shaped

Flower Color: Pink/Purple

Flowering Time: March-April

Fall Color: Yellow

Features: Showy spring flowers, heart-shaped leaves, attractive fall color

Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

Watering: Moderate & Regular

Soil: Prefers moderately rich, moist, and well-drained soil. Avoid wet or poorly drained soils.

Growth Rate: Medium

USDA Zones: 5-9

Uses: Shade tree, lawn tree, accent tree, shrub border, woodland landscapes

Similar trees: Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy,' Cercis canadensis 'JN2,' Cercis canadensis 'Appalachian Red,' Cercis canadensis 'Covey'