Cercis- Judas Tree

This small, ramified tree or shrub rarely occurs in our gardens; in our climate it is unfortunately easily damaged by night frost, though it may be grown in more temperate conditions.


As a specimen tree in a sheltered garden. Full sun is essential.


The soil must be well manured and well drained and may contain a certain amount of lime.


The Judas tree can be grown from seed. Seedlings must be kept frost-free in the first year.

Cercis siliquastrum: Height to 7 m, to 5 m across, but usually smaller. In mid to late spring purple-pink flowers appear on the bare wood. Leaves oval, heart-shaped at the base, S- cm across. At a later stage fruit pods are developed. runners which can be detached. Annual species:

Centaurea americana: Height to nearly 2 m, pale-violet or pale-pink flowers mid to late summer. ‘Alba’ is white; ‘Halli’ deep purple.

Centaurea cyanus, cornflower: Height 30-90 cm, flowers in summer. In the species the flowers are azure blue; cul-tivars occur in other colours.

Centaurea moschata , scented corn-flower: Height to 80 cm, flowering season mid summer until autumn. The original species has yellow flowers, but there are many blue, red and white cultivars. The finest flowers for cutting are found among the so-called Tmperi-alis’ group, with graceful fringed flowers. Hardy perennials:

Centaurea dealbata: Height 20-60 cm; red flowers with a white centre in mid to late summer. ‘Steenbergii’ has purple flowers with a white centre.

Centaurea macrocepbala: Height 40-90 cm; the flowers in mid to late summer are yellow, with globular-shaped flower-heads. Thick, leafy stems – a fine border plant.

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