Judas tree cercis siliquastrum l fabaceae

Notes (Judas Tree):

And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Matthew 27:5 (KJV)

A handsome ornamental tree, most probably not the tree on which Judas hanged himself — if he hanged himself at all. Tradition, more than 200 years old, has it that the red color of the flowers results from the trees blushing or burning with shame when Judas selected it. Because Zohary does not mention it in his plants of the Bible, I suppose he doubts that Judas hanged himself on the Judas tree. But he does illustrate it well in the Flora of the Palestine (FP2). Hence, it is certainly a handsome tree of the Holy Land although not mentioned per se in the Bible. Other authors (GMH) think Judas hanged himself on an elderberry, Sambucus (GMH), but there are no elderberries listed for the native Flora of Palestine. Sambucus nigra is cultivated in that part of the world and could support the weight of a hanging man. I saw a substantial Sambucus nigra tree near Hildegarde von Bingen's. The Judas tree of Palestine is also said to be an ornamental timber tree, the flower buds of which are pickled and eaten (FP2).

Common Names (Judas Tree):

Albero di Guida (It.; EFS); Arbol de Amor (Sp.; EFS); Arbol de Judea (Sp.; EFS); Arbre de Judie (Fr.; EFS); Arjoran (Sp.; EFS); Ching P'i (China; EFS); Echter Judasbaum (Ger.; EFS); Erguvan (Tur.; EFS); Gainier (Fr.; EFS); Judas Boom (Dutch; EFS); Judas Tree (Eng.; USN); Love Tree (Eng.; USN); Namdumbu (Sp.; EFS); Olaia (Por.; EFS); Siliquastro (It.; EFS); Tzu Ching (China; EFS); Arbol de Judea (Sp.; EFS).

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