T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cercis siliquastrum (Judas Tree)

Kingdom: Plantae
Unranked: Angiosperms
Unranked: Eudicots
Unranked:    Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Cercis
Species: C. siliquastrum
Binomial name: Cercis siliquastrum
Synonyms:     Siliquastrum orbicularis
Common name: Judas tree

Cercis siliquastrum is a small deciduous tree from Southern Europe and Western Asia which is noted for its prolific display of deep-pink flowers in spring.
This species forms a small tree up to 12 metres in height and 10 metres in width. The entire tree becomes clothed in pea shaped deep pink flowers which are produced on year-old or older growth, including the trunk in late spring (cauliflory). 
The leaves appear shortly after the first flowers emerge. coppery coloured round leaves which change to glaucous green as they mature. These are heart-shaped with a blunt apex, which occasionally has a shallow notch at the tip. The tree produces long flat pods that hang vertically.

There is a long-standing myth that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from a tree of this species. This belief is related to the common name "Judas tree".

Photographed early October.at Tupare Gardens, New Plymouth.










Flowers sprouting from old growth. This tree is growing at Adams point. Lat 39 3'43.8:S  Long 174 5'34.7"E.
The flowers are edible.

Photographed early December


The tree produces long flat pods that hang vertically.

Trunk

Photos below are of two leaf shapes
Top surface of a leaf No 1


Lower surface of a leaf No1


L
eaf shape No 2.more rounded.

 
Underside of leaf No 2.