judas treeJudas Trees and Judas Flowers
Every Easter we delight in the spectacle of the island’s Judas Trees in full bloom. The blossom appears before the leaves – and those leaves come through much later than most other trees – so that it would not be hard to kid a credulous early visitor that ‘in Corfu, some of our trees grow pink leaves.’
The tree is named after Judas Iscariot, who is said to have hung himself on one in remorse at his betrayal of Christ. Legend has it that the pink flowers bloom at Easter because the trees are blushing in shame at their species’ role in the Passion.
On Easter Monday I was walking near Giannades with a Dutch lady and she asked me the name in English of Honesty, the pretty purple flower whose characteristic seed cases, dark purple when they first form, later turn into silvery, papery discs. She told me that in Dutch it is called ‘Judas Flower’ because the papery discs look like coins – the thirty pieces of silver which Judas took in return for his act.
Wouldn’t it be great if money really grew on (Judas) trees?

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