Cercis x canadensis ‘Eternal Flame’ | Introduced at BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair 2021

Cercis x canadensis ‘Eternal Flame’ is a strikingly unusual new variety, thanks to the unique colour of its foliage. The glossy deep red leaves gradually transform through orange to yellow shades, leaving the plant with a graduation of coloured leaves on each stem - a beautiful sight and transformation like no other

Once the plant has had time to settle and mature in the garden, it will go on to produce dark pink flowers along the stems in mid-spring before the foliage. This gives it an even longer season of interest, from the April flowers to the array of foliage colours from May followed by the attractive autumn foliage colour.

Growing to around 3-4 metres, this is ultimately a smallish tree that suits a wide range of gardens. It could equally be kept pruned grown as a multi-stemmed shrub. It is a tough, hardy plant that will thrive happily in any sunny position in most soil types, whether in the garden or in a container on the patio. It is easy to care for, just needing a light prune as wanted to keep the shape.  

Flowering time: April to May (only flowers after reaching maturity)

Sun Requirements: Full sun 

Soil: Any free- draining soil

Hardiness: Fully hardy

Size: Grows to 3-4 metres height

Development History

This new variety is the result of the highly-skilled, technical breeding programme led by Dr Dennis Werner at North Carolina State University. Across the course of many years, the programme has been looking at the genus and conducting in-depth scientific work to bring new colours, forms and shapes. 

Growing Guide


Plant in any free-draining soil in the garden or in a container in a sunny position. Add plenty of organic matter to enrich the soil. Dig a hole that is as deep as the rootball, and approximately two to three times as wide. Place the plant in the hole, fill with a soil / organic matter mixture and water thoroughly.


Continue to water well until fully established.


Prune back lightly to shape after flowering.

Planting Ideas

Cercis x canadensis ‘Eternal Flame’ can be grown as a specimen feature plant in a container on a patio. 

It can also be positioned in the garden as a small tree and underplanted with shade-loving plants, such as brunnera, geraniums and pulmonaria.