Cercis siliquastrum L.

Judas Tree

Small tree with grey bark. Leaves almost round, 6-10 cm long and wide, base strongly cordate. Flowers with calyx 4-6 mm long; spring. Corolla purplish to pink, 1.5-2 cm long. Fruit pods oblong, 8-12 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide, mostly reddish purple.

Common name derived from the legend that Judas hanged himself from this tree after his betrayal of Jesus.

var. alba (Weston) Rehder has white flowers.

C. chinensis Bunge, Chinese Redbud, is sometimes offered and is available as the cultivar 'Avondale' which is a small plant with profuse dark pink flowers. C. canadensis L., Redbud, is available as 'Alba', which has flowers white, origin uncertain, possibly first selected in Austria in 1792. Syn. f. alba Rehd.; 'Forest Pansy' with foliage purple at first, flowers with pale petals and dark sepals, originated in 1947 as a seedling at Forest Nsy McMinnville, USA; and 'Rubye Atkinson' with leaves hairy, plants heatresistant, flowers pale pink with dark sepals, int. 1960s by Willis Nsy, Ottowa, USA.

S Europe.

VIC: Koroit (Bot. Gds); Melbourne (Royal Bot. Gds, edge of Herb Garden).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Caesalpiniaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fabales
family       Fabaceae
genus        Cercis L.