Judas trees (Cercis) offer a variety of garden designs through three main species with numerous variations plus some rarer specimens. The most beautiful Judas tree varieties are listed and described below.

The most beautiful Judas tree varieties

The most common Judas tree species are:

  • Common Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum)
  • Canadian Judas Tree (Cercis canadensis)
  • Chinese Judas Tree (Cercis chinensis)

Most Judas tree varieties love a location that has the following characteristics:

  • sunny to a maximum of semi-shady
  • warm
  • sheltered from the wind

Common Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum)


  • Growth: shrubby or as a tree; slightly bushy
  • Growth height: between 300 and 600 centimeters
  • flower: simple; pure white; from April to May
  • Special features: pedigree; hardy when old; insect friendly; very good heat and drought tolerance; golden fall color


  • Growth: large, bushy; well branched; funnel shaped
  • Growth height: up to twelve meters
  • Flower: dark pink to magenta; from April to May
  • Special features: subtle floral scent; lime-loving; decorative fruit ornaments from September; hardy with cold protection


  • growth: umbrella-like; tight
  • Growth height: between 500 and 800 centimeters
  • flower: dark red; from April to May
  • Special features: grey-green leaves; hardy when old; Young plants need protection from the cold; very cut compatible

Canadian Judas Tree (Cercis canadensis)

kindgrowthgrowth heightblossomsheydayparticularities
„Cascading Hearts“overhanging ,
cascading ,
between 150 and
300 centimeters
flowers crimson, pink to violet
April to Mayyellow-green foliage
very hardy
very decorative
„Forest Pansy“loosely open,
wide ,
between 500 and 800 centimeterspink to dark redMarch to Aprilthe older, the more winter-hardy
, also suitable for pot culture
„Hearts of Gold“wide
between 300 and 500 centimeterssimply
, light violet to pink-violet
March to Aprilvery hardy
sandy loamy soil
yellow-green foliage
long, banana-shaped pods in autumn
very compatible with urban areas
winter protection for young plants
„Lavender Twist“erect with drooping shootsbetween 200 and 300 centimeterssingle
growing in clusters
AprilCold protection for young plants brown-
grey bark
light floral scent
„Little Woody“funnel -shaped
umbrellaous, dense crown
between 200 and 250 centimeterssimply
April to early Mayred young leaves
yellow autumn leaves
decorative fruit decoration
ideal for small gardens
between 300 and 400 centimetersbutterfly
pink, purplish-pink
April to MayEnormously rich in flowers,
dark red leaves ,
, very robust
, also suitable as a container plant
between 250 and 400 centimeterssimply
pink to pink
April to May“American” Judas tree (Cercis canadensis var. texensis)
very bee- and insect-friendly
with increasing age, winter-hardy
tubs can be kept
„Pink Pink Poms“upright
shrub or as a tree (depending on the cut)
between 300 and 700 centimetersfilled
bright pink
March to Aprillight green foliage
lush abundance of flowers
subtle scent of flowers
very tolerant of pruning
well winter
-hardy suitable for tub cultivation
„Rising Sun“upright
, multi
between 150 and 300 centimeterssimply
early April to late Mayorange and purple autumn leaves
, only hardy after a few years
„Royal White“shrubby to small trees
, upright,
well branched,
slightly bushy
between 500 and 700 centimeterssimply
pure white
March to Aprilyellow autumn colors
matt leaf green
very bee-friendly
hardy down to minus 20°C
„Ruby Falls“compact
, upright
hanging twigs
, well-branched,
shrub -like
between 200 and 400 centimetersjust
April to Mayvery floriferous
reddish-orange autumn colors
optimal for single position
only fully grown frost-resistant
„Texas White“upright,
spreading ,
densely branched
between 200 and 300 centimeterscreamy white
similar to orchids
April to May“American” Judas tree (Cercis canadensis var. texensis)
in Central Europe rarely
golden-yellow autumn leaves
flowers also on the trunk
decorative pods into the winter
container plant
„Vanilla Twist“upright
shrub or tree
between 100 and 600 centimetersplain
white to creamy white
April to Mayfrost-resistant from the age of three tolerates
frequent pruning reduces the abundance of flowers
Note: The ‘Lavender Twist’ is also known as the ‘Hanging Judas Tree’ and is often sold under this name.

Chinese Judas Tree (Cercis chinensis)


Cercis chinensis ‚Avondale‘
  • Growth: upright; compact; shrubby; overhanging flowers
  • Growth height: between 200 and 350 centimeters
  • flower: racemose; violet-red; from April to May
  • Special features: Mediterranean flair; suitable for hedge planting and privacy protection in the garden ; yellow autumn color; undemanding
Tip: Chinese Judas trees are an ideal choice for pot cultivation. They are very tolerant of pruning and smaller in stature compared to the other varieties.

„Don Egolf“

  • Growth: upright
  • Growth height: between 200 and 350 centimeters
  • Flower: pink to pink; from April to May
  • Special features: very sensitive to waterlogging; round leaves; strong flowering; autumn coloring; Protection against the cold recommended in extreme sub-zero temperatures


  • Growth: upright, bushy, compact
  • Growth height: between 200 and 350 centimeters
  • flower: simple; creamy white; from April to May
  • Special features: hardy when old; resistant to pests; flowers before leaves shoot; ideal for privacy in the garden; allows topiary
Tip: Planting the two varieties ‘ Shirobana’ and ‘Avondale’ ensures a play of colours. Some retailers therefore offer them together in one pot.

Upright Judas tree (Cercis glabra)

  • Growth: upright, slow-growing; Side shoots arching overhanging
  • Growth height: between 300 and 450 centimeters
  • flower: simple; pink; from April to May
  • Special features: ideal for gardens in hardiness zones six to eight; protection against the cold recommended in harsh winter regions; golden yellow autumn color; bumblebee and bee pasture; lime loving

frequently asked Questions

As a rule, all varieties of this Judas tree species require a development time of between three and five years. If they are exposed to prolonged frost during this period, they may suffer frost cracks in the trunk and branches. A suitable protection against the cold prevents this. Potted plants should be relocated to a frost-free but cool winter quarters between zero and five degrees Celsius. From the age of six at the latest, most varieties are very hardy.

The Canadian Judas tree “Little Woody” is particularly popular for small gardens. But also varieties of the Chinese Judas tree are well suited for planting in a small garden due to their lower growth height and growth width. Most specimens are very easy to cut and can be optimally adapted to the space available on site. In the case of large-growing Judas trees, however, this requires regular pruning and consequently more maintenance.

The leaves of Judas trees are all heart-shaped. Depending on the variety, they can be rounder, more oval, wider, narrower, smaller and larger. Some are smooth-edged, others jagged. They also differ in color. But the heart shape is clearly visible in almost every strain. An exception is the Chinese Judas tree “Don Egolf” with more rounded than heart-shaped leaves.

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