Native to southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, it has pink flowers that bloom in groups during February and March, on the trunk or branches of previous years, before the leaves are produced. Well represented in the Parque de María Luisa, Judas tree is the first to bloom in Sevilla, just past the cold of winter.
The generic name cercis comes from the Greek kerkis meaning shuttle for the fruit shape, due to the similarity of pods with the tool for knitting. Its wood is very resistant to insects. The specific name siliquastrum means 'growing in the sand.”
The leaves can be eaten as vegetables or salad and its flower buds are used as a condiment substitute for capers. These sheets have a limbo that is heart shaped what explains one of its common names, tree of love, but it is also known as Judas tree because, according to the legend, the disciple of Jesus, after selling his teacher, hanged himself in one of these trees, it is even said that the pod reminds of the coins Judas received in payment for his betrayal. There is another legend that tells that Christ's tears fell from Heaven to this tree and thereafter the pink flowers that characterize it appeared. It is also likely that the name is an incorrect transcription of Judea tree, since in this area of the eastern Mediterranean this species is abundant. It was brought from there to Western Europe, existing in Spain many crops of this type of tree in the nineteenth century, and being feral in regions like Valencia and Andalusia.