Eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis) is a deciduous tree with showy lavender flowers at the beginning of the Spring and right after the bloom, the heart shaped leaves appear. The fruit/pod is a legume, that can be sautéed as a side dish.
The pea-shaped flowers are edible and taste slightly tangy due to its high vitamin C content ( Zennie, Thomas M. and Ogzewalla, C. Dwayne. “Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin A Content of Edible Wild Plants of Ohio and Kentucky.” Economic Botany 3 Jan.-Mar. 1977: 76-79. Print.).
They can be enjoyed straight from the tree, infused in honey or apple cider vinegar, cooked in a jelly, cakes, muffins or used as a gorgeous edible decoration!
Next time you see an Eastern redbud, give its flowers a taste and you will be delighted! Do not ingest if you do not have 100% positive identification.