Judas Tree

Tree of the Week

Cercis siliquastrum


The ‘Judas Tree’

The generic name, Cercis, comes from the Greek ‘Kerkis’, a weaver’s shuttle, which Theophrastus likened the tree’s flattened woody fruits to. Its specific name refers to the prominent seedpods – ‘siliqua’ in latin. It is alleged to be the type of tree from which Judas Iscariot hanged himself but it could be that the flowers and pods hanging from the stem represent this act.
This one is growing close to the Head Gardener’s cottage at Grimsthorpe Castle.