Deciduous small tree, with heart shaped leaves and pink early spring flowers, present on older wood, often flowers are also grow on the main stem. Typically 8 to 12m tall at maturity. Native to south eastern Europe and western Asia. A member of the Fabaceae (legume, pea/bean) family, this tree is able to "fix" nitrogen (because of a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria Rhizobium) and store it in specialised root nodules. The tree gets its common name as it is reputed to be the tree from which Judas Iscariot hung himself. The bark is used in Chinese medicine as an antiseptic. Fossil evidence suggests this genus is at least ca.45 million years old.
Culture for Judas Tree
Tolerates a wide range of soil types and pH ranges reported to be able to grow in very alkaline soils although the ideal pH range is 6 to 7.5. Tolerant of the UK's climate but prefers warm microclimate in order to flourish. In its native habit the Judas tree grows as an understory forest margin plant therefore it tolerates moderate shade to full sun. Drought tolerant but susceptible to waterlogging damage.
Concerns about Judas Tree
Susceptible to Verticillium wilt and coral spot.
Management Practices for Judas Tree
Careful pruning and training to maintain shape may be beneficial however not essential. Inspect for Verticillium if its known to be in the vicinity.