Cercis siliquastrum L.

Judas tree or Rosebud

Family: Fabaceae

This slow growing small tree or sometimes a multi-stem shrub is a native from France to Afghanistan. It was introduced into England in the 16th century and received an Award of Garden Merit from the RHS in 1984. The heart-shaped leaves appear simple but are in fact two fused leaflets of a pinnate leaf (as are common in most of the Fabaceae family).The flowers appear in clusters from old wood of branches and even on the main stem, opening in spring (usually in March) before the leaves open. The purple tinged seed pods (siliqua) follow in the summer and persist through to the winter.

This tree planted in Belfast Botanic Gardens on 28th April 2023 to mark the retirement of horticulturalist Adrienne Armstrong after forty two years service with Belfast City Council.