Not nearly as well-known in American gardens where the native Eastern redbud is grown, the Avondale redbud tree is more tolerant of soils and garden conditions. It grows 8 to 15 feet tall and wide with many trunks or low branches; pruning the low branches away when the plant is young helps form a classic, small tree-like habit. The leaves are pretty, but nothing compares to the profusion of violet-rose blossoms in early spring. Grow Avondale in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 6 through 9a.
The cultivar Avondale is a type of Chinese redbud (Cercis chinensis), native to central China. This profusely flowering cultivar was selected by the Dunkin & Davies plant nursery growing in New Zealand.
Avondale redbud displays greater numbers of vivid, violet-pink to magenta-rose flowers in early to mid-spring before its leave emerge. The blossoms are small and look like tiny pea blooms and occur on twigs as well as directly on the gray branch bark. Papery brown seed pods form by late spring. The leaves are heart-shaped and light to seafoam green, turning shades of yellow in autumn before dropping off.
For best growth, plant Avondale in a moist, well-draining soil rich in organic matter, especially those that are fine sand or heavy, dense clay. Acidic pH soils are ideal, but addition of organic matter finds the tree prospering in slightly alkaline soils, too, such as those near concrete sidewalks. Situate Avondale where it receives at least six to 10 hours of direct sunlight daily, which ensures a good branching form and the best springtime floral display. In hot summer regions, consider siting it where some shade reaches the foliage in the mid-afternoon. This species is more drought tolerant than the Eastern redbud tree.
Use the Avondale redbud as a small tree for a mixed shrub border, or to anchor the corner of a small residential building in a foundation bed. Some municipalities plant it in boulevard medians where larger flowering trees are inappropriate.
This tree, like all redbuds, resents transplanting after established in the ground, so think twice about the final garden location for Avondale. Plant it where it is to grow permanently. While it becomes an attractive singular specimen, consider incorporating it into a mixed planting design for better visual impact. For example, Avondale nestled among summer or fall-blooming plants adds multi-seasonal interest, and spring flowering shrubs and bulbs at its base, such as daffodils and hyacinths, accentuate the floral display.