The Q&A Archives: Lover's Tree

Question: My wife recently bought what was called a "Lover's Tree". About 4' tall, lovely pink flowers. The correct name begins, I think, with an M. What do we have and how does one care for it? The soil it is in seems VERY sandy to me but the nursery from which we bought it was very vague about care, etc. Thanks for your help

Answer: Your plant sounds lovely! Unfortunately, I am not familiar with either a hardy or a tropical plant called a Lover's Tree, but I did find reference to the common name "Love Tree". The latin name is Cercis siliquastrum. Other common names for this plant include European redbud and Judas tree. The common name "love tree" comes from the heart-shaped leaves (does this sound like yours?)

This tree is quite unusual in America, and is native to southern Europe and adjacent Asia. It can grow to a height of 40' but is usually much smaller. The flowers are bright, purplish pink 1/2 to 3/4" long. I'm a little concerned, however, because this tree is not particularly hardy and may not survive your winters in Potsdam. I'd check with the nursery where the tree was purchased, to see if indeed this is the tree, and see if they offer any kind of guarantee.

A great source of information in your region is St. Lawrence Nurseries in Potsdam (325 State Hwy 345, Potsdam., ph# 315-265-6739, web site: They offer very hardy plants, mostly fruits and nuts and other "edible landscaping", and have a wealth of information.

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