Cercis

From Academic Kids

'Redbuds'
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Cercis_siliquastrum4.jpg



Cercis siliquastrum
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Fabales
Family:Fabaceae
Subfamily:Caesalpinioideae
Tribe:Cercideae
Genus:Cercis
Species

see text

Cercis, the Redbuds, is a genus of about 6-10 species in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae, native to warm-temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. They are small deciduous trees or large shrubs, characterised by simple, rounded to heart-shaped leaves and pinkish-red flowers borne in the early spring on bare leafless shoots.

A full list of species in the genus is:

  • Old World:
    • Cercis chinensis - Chinese Redbud (eastern Asia; includes C. glabra and C. japonica)
    • Cercis gigantea - Giant Redbud (China)
    • Cercis griffithii - Afghan Redbud (southern central Asia)
    • Cercis racemosa - Chain-flowered Redbud (western China)
    • Cercis siliquastrum - Judas-tree or European Redbud (Mediterranean region)
  • New World:
    • Cercis canadensis - Eastern Redbud (eastern North America)
    • Cercis mexicana - Mexican Redbud (Mexico; often treated as a variety of C. canadensis)
    • Cercis occidentalis - California Redbud or Western Redbud (California)
    • Cercis reniformis - Oklahoma Redbud (Oklahoma; often treated as a variety of C. canadensis)
    • Cercis texensis - Texas Redbud (Texas; often treated as a variety of C. canadensis)
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Cercis_Siliquastrum_Trunk_and_Blossom.jpg
The Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum) sometimes bears blossom directly on its trunk.

Judas-tree (Cercis siliquastrum) is a small tree to 10-15 m tall native to the south of Europe and southwest Asia, in Iberia, southern France, Italy, Greece and Asia Minor, which forms a handsome low tree with a flat spreading head. In early spring it is covered with a profusion of magenta pink flowers, which appear before the leaves. The flowers have an agreeably acidic bite, and are eaten in mixed salad or made into fritters. The tree was frequently figured in the 16th and 17th century herbals. The elaborate mediaeval mythology that developed around the figure of Judas Iscariot would have had him hang himself from this tree, which may suggest that it was among the European trees that had some pre-Christian cultic significance.

A smaller Eastern American woodland understory tree, Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis, is common from southernmost Canada to piedmont Alabama and East Texas. It differs from C. siliquastrum in its pointed leaves and slightly smaller size (rarely over 12 m tall). The flowers are also used in salads and for making pickled relish, while the inner bark of twigs gives a mustard-yellow dye.

The Chain-flowered Redbud (Cercis racemosa) from western China is unusual in the genus in having its flowers in pendulous 10 cm racemes, as in a Laburnum, rather than short clusters.


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Cercis_Siliquastrum_blossom_closeup.jpg
Cercis siliquastrum blossom on a mature branch
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Cercis_siliquastrum0.jpg
Cercis siliquastrum flowers and old seed pods


da:Judastrę (Cercis) gl:Įrbore do amor

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