The Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy has become a garden favourite for any discerning gardener. However in spite of its magnificent foliage colour it can be disappointing in having very few flowers, being difficult to shape and not performing well in more exposed and colder areas.. We are often asked if there is a new cultivar available which is an improvement in these aspects while retaining the beauty of the Forest Pansy. At last the answer is without doubt a firm yes. The new cultivar, named ‘Merlot’, is without a doubt the very best variety of Cercis to plant for those wanting a red leaved,upright multi-branching tree or shrub with good flowering potential. The red leaves are thicker and much more resistant to the wind and rain damage which the Forest Pansy can show, the plant is more vigorous giving good growth even in its early years and we are reliably informed by those who have slightly older plants that the flowering potential is even up to 70% of the variety Avondale (which is the most prolific flowering Cercis available). We at Treetyme have 3 Merlot which were planted in 2011 in our arboretum and they are clearly the most vigorous variety of Cercis we have in our collection.