Judas Tree identification

The Judas Tree Cercis siliquastrum is a small deciduous tree native to the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia. it was introduced to Britain before 1600 and has been planted widely in parks and gardens in warmer areas. Judas Tree identification – large kidney-shaped leaves, pink flowers in spring and brown fruit pods in autumn and winter. It has beautiful pink flowers in spring that grow on shoots, branches or trunk and long flat pods that hang down and persist through the winter. The derivation of its name is unclear – it could be from the region of the Judean hills in which it was commonly found.

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Judas Tree in autumn

Mature tree in September, bearing seed pods.

Judas Tree in spring

Tree in flower before the leaves in late April

Judas Tree leaf

The leaves are kidney-shaped and large

Judas Tree flower

Individual flowers are like Sweet Peas. The flowers are pollinated when bees,  searching for nectar secreted at the base of the flower, deposit pollen from another flower. 

Judas Tree flowers on a bare shoot

The flowers may be produced from shoots, branches or even the trunk of the tree. This photo was taken in late April, before the leaves had emerged. The bark is ridged.

Judas Tree flowers

The tree is covered in pink flowers in April and May

Judas Tree pod

The fruit is a pod and when first formed at the end of July is green

Judas Tree pods in autumn

By September the pods have turned red-brown. The pods stay on the tree all winter.

There is no terminal bud.

Lateral leaf buds are pressed flat to the shoot.

Lateral flower buds are clustered at points along the shoots. Flowers can erupt from branches or the tree trunk.

Tree in January still bearing seed pods.