Judas tree

Above: A Judas tree at Lincoln's Inn.

Below: the same tree with John
Soane's museum in the background

Judas tree

Trees of London

Lincoln's Inn Fields

Judas Tree

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             The Judas tree is so called because it is thought that Judas, after betraying Christ, committed suicide by hanging himself from one of these trees. Of course, there is no evidence for this whatsoever. Possibly because of the way the branches grow horizontally, it seems easy to attach a rope around them. In reality the branches would not be nearly high enough to get a good drop. It is not recommend that this be put to the test. Also adding credence to the theory, possibly, is that the tree originates from that region. One can take just a glance at this tree to tell that it is not native; it has a Mediterranean look to it of the sort depicted in paintings of the bible stories. It stands out in the winter because it has bean like nuts.

Autumn beans from Judas tree.

beans from Judas tree

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Other Trees at Lincoln's Inn fields

laburnum      silver maple      Indian bean

birch      hazel      oak

Lincoln's Inn fields

Tree Identification

Cercis siliquastrum:

alternate; veins: alternate; round to heart shaped.

Judas leaf
Judas pods

nuts/fruit: beanlike, remain on the tree until spring.

Judas tree flowers

a striking pink for a short time in spring.

Judas tree bark bark:
reddish brown; quite rugged.
grows to 10 metres; usually grows at an angle.
general: once you've seen one, they are easy to identify, especially if you know the story about Judas.

There is a group of four trees to the left
of the entrance closest to the John Soane Museum.
This one is the furthest away, and is
notable because its trunk runs along
the ground before going up.
yellow: John Soane's Museum.
blue: Judas tree.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©