Judas tree, Cercis siliquastrum
Etymology: its name (Judas tree) comes from its region of origin, Judea. Its Greek name is Cercis, hence the genus name. Cercis is the name of the weaver's shuttle, alluding to the clove tree.
Origin: Europe, Middle East.
Other species: Cercis canadensis, native to North America and Eastern (but not Canada as its name seems to point it out), called "Redbud". It gives pale rose flowers. Its leaves are more pointed and their autumn colours (yellow) are more remarkable.
Cercis chinensis: has flowers pink intense purple. It does not tolerate temperatures below -5°C or 23°F.
Cercis occidentalis: flowers in shades rose bright. It does not support below -5°C.
Habitat: tree of light, not supporting the acid soils, appreciates limestones.
hardiness of Cercis siliquastrum: zone 7 (it supports cold until -17 °C or 1 °F).
Lifespan: 100 years.
Height : 10-15 m tall.
Tormented trunk. Tortuous stems.
Grey-pink or black cracked bark.
Round leaves with a indentation at the base, alternate (which distinguishes them from the leaves, also round the Cercidiphyllum, which are opposed).
Flowers papilionaceous, pink, growing directly on branches and on trunk (" cauliflorous "), in April, before foliation : the tree wraps itself up of a nice pink colour.
Variety: there is a variety with (rare) white flower.
Fruits : pod flattened in summer, of green or red colour.
Legends and traditions: In the Bible, Judas hanged himself to that tree. Its flowers are the tears of Christ, and the color purple, the color of the stigma of traitor.