botanical background


order: Fabales

family: Fabaceae

genus: Cercis

species: Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum)

attributes: deciduous tree with several trunks, height up to eight meters, stemmed, heart-shaped broad-leaves

origin: southern Europe and Near East

habitat: by now also in northern Africa and southern Australia


in the Bible

And it becoming early morning, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death. And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then he who had betrayed Him, seeing that He was condemned, sorrowing, Judas returned the thirty pieces of silver again to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, betraying innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? You see to that. And he threw the pieces of silver down in the temple and departed. And he went and hanged himself.

Matthew 27,1-5


The association of Judas with the tree is inspired by accounts about the death of the apostle. According to legend Judas hanged himself on a similar tree. The tree is said to have turned red in shame - hence the pink blossoms. The round leaves also have similarities with the silver coins Judas received for treason.

mentions: none



Baumann, Hellmuth: Die griechische Pflanzenwelt in Mythos, Kunst und Literatur. 3., erw. Aufl. München 1993.

Modern King James Version.

© Pixabay
© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster
© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster