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Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Covey' LAVENDER TWIST®) erupts in a profusion of lavender flowers that cascade down weeping stems in springtime. This cultivar of our native redbud tree takes the traditional upright form of the species to a new dimension of elegance with its flowing habit. If your landscape design needs a stunning focal point that is colorful as well as architectural, you can't find a plant that delivers more resoundingly than Lavender Twist® Redbud. Unmatched Beauty There's a whole lotta something good going on with Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud! This is truly a four-season plant of interest. You'll never grow tired of watching it transform from one season to the next, and you'll have a difficult time trying to decide which season is the showiest. 1. Spring flowers. Color '– and lots of it '– on this tree in early- to mid-spring brings your landscape alive after winter. Lavender to pinkish-purple blossoms appear before the leaves emerge, and these flowers are densely packed on Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud's stems. 2. Summer foliage. When the flowers fade, and the leaves emerge, they are lovingly heart-shaped with an overlapping, shingled look. What a thoughtful gift to give your sweetheart, friend, or family member '– the Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud with its heart-shaped leaves! 3. Fall color. The leaves turn a brilliant shade of yellow in autumn as a final, colorful finish to the growing season. 4. Winter structure. When its leaves drop in autumn, Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud's architectural structure is fully revealed. Its weeping form is apparent even under the flowers and leaves, but wait until you see the contorted trunk! Against a stark, sometimes snowy winter landscape, Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud is a stunner even when bare. Award-Winning Criteria Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud earned the 2009 Georgia Gold Medal Award in the tree category for its outstanding merits as a superior ornamental plant. To earn this award, potential plants were nominated, field-trialed, and judged against other contenders by academic and green-industry professionals. All plants had to meet criteria that included not only seasonal interest but also low-maintenance qualities and pest tolerance '– the same traits that you want from the plants in your landscape. When the final vote was cast, Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud secured its spot on the roster of GA Gold Medal winners! Early Dormancy Boosts Winter Hardiness Another desirable trait of Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud is its curious habit of early dormancy. Other types of redbud trees wait until the first frost of autumn before they stop growing for the season and settle in for their dormant winter's sleep. But Lavender Twist® typically enters dormancy even before the first fall frost. This subtle characteristic boosts its winter hardiness over other redbuds, which also increases its survivability in the harsh winter climates of its northernmost perennial range of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 9. These plants have been documented to endure temperatures as cold as minus 23 degrees F without suffering damage. Determine The Height of The Tree by Staking it. Depending on the look you want from your Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud, you can decide whether to train it to a stake or let it grow naturally. The "twist" in this tree's name describes the look of its untrained growth habit. The trunk naturally contorts as the tree grows, growing over itself in a zigzagging effect. If you want a smoother, more vertical shape, train your young Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud to a stake. Staked trees may slowly reach heights of 8 to 10 feet, but untrained trees typically grow only 4 to 5 tall. Trivia: The original tree from which all subsequent generations have been propagated stood only 4.5 feet tall and 7 feet wide when it was approximately 35 years old. Be a Trendsetter with This One of a Kind Tree There's no question that your family, friends, and neighbors will want to know the name of this new plant when they see it growing in your yard. But even if their envy prompts all of them to order their own tree, you'll still have a unique specimen. Because of Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud's distinctive growth, no two trees look exactly alike! Unimaginably Superb as a Container Plant Yes, you can plant your Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud in a container! Choose a large container so you won't have to water it as often during hot and dry weather, and make sure the pot has a drainage hole. The root system will not be insulated by the surrounding soil because of its elevation in a container. This means that gardeners in Zones 7 through 9 can reliably depend on being able to grow Lavender Twist® year-round above ground. Zone 6 gardeners may push the above-ground hardiness envelope by wrapping the container to insulate it and placing it in a sheltered location outdoors during the winter where it receives rainfall. (Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud needs the cold chill of winter to set flower buds, so don't move it into a heated space.) Design Possibilities You'll have a world of design options when you put Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud at the top of your must-have plant list. As an obvious specimen plant that draws the eye toward it, you'll want to place it front and center in a sunny spot. To show it off to perfection, plant it near the entrance to your home where it cannot be missed by your visitors. It's also outstanding as the centerpiece of a courtyard garden. With its non-conforming growth habit, Lavender Twist® is right at home in any cottage garden where unstructured individuality is valued. And even though cherry trees are traditional design elements in Oriental gardens, Lavender Twist® Redbud commands even more respect in these settings because of its uniquely twisted shape, weeping form, and springtime flowers. Take design advantage of its cascading, waterfall-like branches by placing Lavender Twist® at the head of a dry stream bed that you create with small pebbles to simulate an actual stream that drains away from a true waterfall. This Tree will Lure a Bounty of Butterflies and Hummingbirds Hummingbirds and butterflies, of course! These creatures will flock to your Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud in droves to enjoy the nectar in the pea-shaped flowers. This tree is actually in the legume plant family, which includes sweet peas, beans, wisteria, and peanuts. All these plants have tantalizing flowers that invite hummingbirds and butterflies to visit. If you have a wildlife habitat garden, Lavender Twist® is a super addition that provides early-season nectar for the pollinators. A Weeping Tree That is Utility Friendly! In landscape design lingo, a utility-friendly tree is one that doesn't grow so tall that it interferes with overhead power lines. Too many homeowners make the mistake of planting a "cute little tree" under a power line that ultimately grows into a giant specimen. Then they're faced with having the expense of removing the tree or forever pruning it into a lopsided shape that grows around the power line. Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud never reaches a height that compromises overhead power lines, so you can plant it in areas that are prohibitive to many other types of trees. Easy to Grow and Easy to Maintain You really won't believe how simple it is to grow this outstanding tree. As it matures, it may look as though you had to do some intensive pruning and training to shape it '– and feel free to tell that to your neighbors '– but you'll know the truth. You simply stood back and watched it "do its thing" naturally. Follow these basic hints and helps to keep your tree in tiptop shape: • Plant it in full sun. It can handle some partial shade '– afternoon shade is better than morning shade. • Water it well its first year. Keep the tree's roots hydrated after transplanting so it can develop a strong root system. • Site it in well-draining soil. Moist soil is okay, but soggy soil won't work well for this tree. • Fertilize it in spring. But wait until the second year after transplanting to apply a slow-release fertilizer before the new growth opens. • Pruning is optional. The cascading branches of Lavender Twist® grow all the way to the ground like a long skirt. You can enjoy that long-skirted look, or you can limb up the branches by trimming them off the ground to whatever length you desire. If you do want to prune your tree, wait until the flowers fade in springtime so you can enjoy lots of flowers before giving Lavender Twist® a haircut! Originated in New York and Discovered by Owner Connie Covey The scientific name of Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud includes the name "Covey," which is a nod to Connie Covey, the owner of the original tree. Miss Covey lived in Westfield, New York, where the 35-year-old tree was discovered growing in her garden in 1991. The tree was subsequently propagated, patented, and introduced to the nursery trade in 1997.