Cercis chinensis 'Don Egolf'

Don Egolf Redbud




Family: Leguminosae

Genus: Cercis

Parent: Cercis chinensis

Category: Shrub - Deciduous

Zones: 6 to 9

Size: <10' tall and wide in 15 years

Growth Rate: Slow

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


No seed pods. Dry well-drained soil. Slower growing and more compact habit than other popular cultivars. Particularly abundant "rosy mauve" flowers. Good disease resistance.


Released by the US National Arboretum in 2000. In 1984, open-pollinated seed of Cercis chinensis collected from cultivated plants growing in the urban and suburban districts of Kunming, Yunnan, Peoples Republic of China, was sent to the U.S. National Arboretum. After 5 years of field testing, beginning in 1986, research staff noted one plant exhibited a fairly slow-growing compact habit and produced no fruit. This selection was propagated and evaluated in 14 states throughout the U.S. for hardiness, ornamental merit, and invasiveness. Released in July, 2000, by Dr. Margaret Pooler, this redbud selection is named in honor of the late Dr. Donald Egolf, renowned shrub breeder at the U.S. National Arboretum.

My Experience: 

I purchased a 1-gallon plant from Camellia Forest in June 2011 and planted it in the front near the Little Gem Magnolia. Either rabbits or deer nibbled on it. The next spring the main stem did not leaf out but a new stem came up from the base. It was vigorous but did not have the characteristics of Don Egolf so I dug it up. I purchased a 3 gallon from Nurseries Caroliniana in February 2013 and planted it in the Abelias and More Garden. It was in bloom at the time. It leafed out and was doing well and then deer ate many leaves in late May. It leafed out again once I fenced it in.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner