Apr 18th, 2014

Yummy Cauliflorous Inflorescence

Text & photos by Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

eastern redbud buds

“Cauliflorous” or “cauliflory” is the term describing the production of flowers on the trunk and branches of woody plants, as opposed to the ends of the twigs. In this case, we’re looking at the ubiquitous eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) – which happens to be a legume (member of the bean family: Fabaceae). Native Americans consumed redbud flowers raw or boiled, and ate roasted seeds. That’s the green seed pods, not the mature seed pods. The flowers contain anthocyanins. Images abound on the web picturing beautiful salads garnished with redbud blooms, and the blooms visible through the translucent rice wrappers of  spring rolls. How appropriate… spring = redbud blooms = spring rolls.

florescent inflorescence

Florescent flowers!

eastern redbed tree blooms

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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