Leaves: Alternate, simple, blades circular in outline but divided into 3 or 5 sharp-pointed lobes, heart shaped or cut strait across the base, up to 7 inches long and often as broad, Bright green and smooth on the upper surface, paler and smooth on the lower surface except for the hairy veins; leafstalks to 5 inches long, slightly hairy; stipules, resembling the leaves but only an inch long, often persist near the base of the leafstalk.
Buds: Light brown, pointed about ¼ inch long, entirely covered by the base of the leafstalk. When the leaves fall off, exposing the buds they leave a scar which surrounds the base of each bud.
Bark: Reddish-brown when young, quickly breaking into thin, flat scales, falling away in sections to expose large patches of whitish or greenish inner bark.
Twigs: Smooth, light brown, somewhat zigzag; leaf scars alternate, encircling the bud, somewhat elevated, with 5-7 bundle traces.
Flowers: Staminate and pistillate flowers born separately but on the same tree. Crowded together in dense, round heads.
Fruits: Round light brown heads, about one inch in diameter, on long drooping stalks, containing many small seeds surrounded by hairs on drooping stalks.
Wood: Hard and strong.
Uses: Furniture, interior finishing and sometimes as an ornamental because of its rapid growth and unusual bark.
Habitat: Bottomlands, along streams, around lakes and ponds.
Growth Form: Large tree, reaching heights of more than 100 feet. Its crown broad often irregular and trunk diameter of up to 8 feet. Redbuds occurs in bottomlands, along streams, around lakes and ponds. Main across southern Wisconsin to eastern Nebraska, south to eastern Texas, east to Northern Florida.
Distinguishing Feature: The large palmately lobed leaves and the brown and gray molted bark readily distinguish the tree.