Characteristics of Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum) in the Wild

Cercis siliquastrum
The Judas Tree or árbol de Judas (Cercis siliquastrum) is a small leafy tree from Southern Europe and West Asia that is famous for its pinkish flowers that appear in spring.

This tree is often planted as a complement to landscapes in public gardens or on home yards. One of its cultivars ‘Bodnant’ has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit, in 2017.

Currently about 10 Judas tree cultivars are cultivated as ornamental trees, including:

  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Afghan Deep Purple’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Alba’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Bodnant’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Carnea’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Fructa Rubra’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Penduliflora’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Rubra’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Sterilis’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘Variegata’
  • Cercis siliquastrum ‘White Swan’

 

Characteristics of Judas Tree Leaf

Cercis siliquastrum Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Andgelo Mombert

The leaves are simple, alternate, bald, heart-shaped, 7-12 cm long, with a round and petiolate crest. The leaflets are light green on the top surface and slightly glaucous (bluish-gray) on the underside.

 

Characteristics of Judas Tree Flower

Cercis siliquastrum Flower
Source: flickr.com/howard.carshalton

The flowers are hermaphrodite, dark pink or white, 1-2 cm long and are grouped in groups of 3-6 flowers that appear before the leaves, in March-April, on the branches, and also on the stems.

 

Characteristics of Judas Tree Fruit

Cercis siliquastrum Fruit
Source: flickr.com/MathijsDielissen

The fruit, pods, flat, 6-10 cm long, 1.5 cm wide, and hanging vertically.

The fruit of judas has traditionally been used in traditional medicine as an astringent.

 

Characteristics of Judas Tree

Cercis siliquastrum Tree
Source: flickr.com/Stefano Trucco

The Judas tree grows into a small tree with a height of up to 10 meters and a width of more than 10 meters. The tree likes deep, well-drained soil and a position in full sun or partial shade.

The Judas tree produces hardwood with attractive veins. The wood is often used in veneering and fine polishing. Apart from that, the judas tree is also widely used as a bonsai specimen in areas with suitable climates.

 

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