Merlot is a superb new Cercis variety, related to the colourful and popular Forest Pansy, from which it inherits its dense young burgundy foliage - turning to green over the summer.
The flowers, which appear before the leaves, are dark pink.
The tree grows with a pleasing spreading habit, reaching 3m-4m in the longer term.
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Merlot was developed at North Carolina State University, and is a cross between Texas White and Forest Pansy. The intention was to create a small compact purple-leaved tree like Forest Pansy, but with the heat and drought tolerance found in the sub-species Cercis canadensis var. texensis.