The Judas tree in April gorgeous pink or white flowers on bare wood, so the appearance of the kidney-shaped leaves. It is a very special crop, a sheltered, warm place and needs grateful for alkaline soil. It is called the Judas tree because a naaktbloeier flowers in bundles on the bare branches and sometimes on the main stem grow.
The leaves are round to kidney shaped. The flowers are striking pink and violet or white. The stalks are 2 cm wide bisexual flowers with bell-shaped blooms of fused stamens. They are in bundle-like clusters on old, two year old twigs or directly to the trunk. This phenomenon is called cauliflorie (flowers appear on bare wood). It is found frequently in tropical plants, eg in the cocoa tree.
The fruits are 7-10 cm long pods. They are long, flat and finely focused. At first they are green, later red to dark brown. They often stay until the following spring to the tree.
The bark is first smooth, later dark brown and finely grooved.
The genus Cercis includes six species in the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and North America grow.
The Judas tree is found in the eastern Mediterranean. As it grows in the wild. He is also in South Tyrol and Iran.
The botanical name Cercis derives from the Greek word which Kerkis weaver coil means. So the tree was named by the ancient writer Dioskorides. The name refers to Judas tree Judas, a disciple of Jesus who betrayed him and themselves out of desperation over his act to this tree might have hung. Following a legend referring to the shape of the leaves to the silver coins he received for his betrayal.
Cercis siliquastrum ‘alba’ is a white cultivar.
Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ Cercis chinensis and only in a very sheltered spot to be planted, because they are less hardy.
Planting and pruning
When planting in the spring of the Judas tree, one must think carefully whether he can stay because transplanting is almost impossible. The tree constitutes a long taproot, which is not easy to dig. Cercis siliquastrum can be used as an espalier against a south wall. The tree tolerates drought well.
Dead branches can be pruned away in the summer. It is important to ensure that the sprouts do not grow too close together because otherwise rotting.
Location and care
A place in partial shade is ideal. The soil should be kept evenly moist. He should never dry out.
Cercis siliquastrum (botanical name)
Leguminosae – butterfly flower family
Judas tree, redbud Mediteranean, love tree (English)
Arbre de Judee (French)