What Is the Judas Tree?


Quick Answer

The Judas tree is a Eurasian tree or shrub that belongs to the pea family. Its name derives from the belief that Judas Iscariot hanged himself on a tree of this kind.

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What Is the Judas Tree?
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Full Answer

Scientifically classified as Cercis siliquastrum, the Judas tree grows to approximately 30 feet in height and width, has pointy, heart-shaped green leaves and produces purple-pink or red flowers and many seeded pods. A native North American version of the Judas tree is called the redbud or American Judas tree (Cercis canadensis) and is cultivated throughout the United States and in southern Canada. Redbuds are smaller than their Eurasian counterparts.

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