There are a number of varieties of this small, deciduous tree. 'Forest Pansy' is a favorite in the Inland Empire. In later winter, all branches bloom with pink blossoms followed by dark, bronzy leaves in the shape of hearts. As spring turns to summer, the leaves turn green. In autumn all the leaves turn golden. In winter the bare branches display a beautiful branching structure.
There is a species of Cercis native to California, Cercis occidentalis. Its southern California range is at an elevation of about 4,000 feet and higher. It struggles with our heat at lower elevations.