Cercis siliquastrum , Photo: Michael Lahanas
Cercis siliquastrum L.
* Species Plantarum 1:374. 1753
Cercis siliquastrum, commonly known as Judas Tree, is a small deciduous tree from Southern Europe and Western Asia which is noted for its prolific display of deep-pink flowers in spring.
Varieties and subspecies include:
* var. hebecarpa Bornm.
* Siliquastrum orbicularis Moench
The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees.
Judas Tree prefers deep, fertile, well-drained soils and a position in full sun or partial shade. It is drought tolerant.
* 'Alba' - white flowers
The tree is susceptible to leafhoppers, scale insects and psyllids (specifically Cacopsylla pulchella) as well as diseases including canker, coral spot and verticillium wilt.
Propagation is by seed, cuttings or budding.
The species produces hard wood with an attractive grain. It is used in veneers and polishes well.
There is a longstanding myth that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from a tree of this species. This belief is related to the common name "Judas Tree" which is possibly a corrupted derivation from the French common name, Arbre de Judée meaning tree of Judea, referring to a region where the tree occurs.
* The Judas Tree (Jonathan Creek)
1. ^ Mabberley, D.J. (2008). Mabberleys's plant-book (3 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 170. ISBN 9780521820714.
* Rowell, Raymond J. (1980). Ornamental Flowering Trees in Australia. Australia: AH & AW Reed Pty LtdReed. ISBN 0-589-50178-X.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License