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Judas Tree in Bloom

Glorified throughout history, the shy but graceful Judas trees adorn the city of Istanbul

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Once its blossoms were white, but when Judas hanged himself from the tree after his betrayal of Jesus Christ, it is said that the tree was so ashamed that it forever blushed, hence the name of this tree. Judas trees are particularly prized by Istanbulites. The city is said to be founded exactly when the trees were blooming. The founding family of Byzantines took pride in the trees and symbolically wore pink cloaks.

Ottomans also cherished Judas trees; they learned to use the flowers to brighten up and flavour salads. In poetry, Judas trees became "the colour of the сountry," and Istanbul was proclaimed the "Empire of Judas trees". Today one might delight in the beauty of these legendary trees on the Anatolian side of the city in the months of April and May.

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