This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There has been controversy whether the tree on which Judas hung himself, was the large tree Elder of Europe, Sambucus nigra, or the Cercis siliquastrium, the Red-bud, or "Judas tree." The partisans of the last have gained one advantage by getting the name of Judas attached to it. Again, there are differences of opinion as to whether the tree is disgraced by the association, or whether it should not rather be honored as the instrument by which such a wretch was put out of the way. On this we have a note from a correspondent: - "The idea of looking upon the Elder as likely to form a malefactor's gibbet-post, or gallows-tree, on which the arch-traitor was suspended, is too preposterous to give credence to. The sacred writers are careful to conceal the kind of tree from which the wretched suicide dangled.
And even the quaint and credulous Gerard, honest old soul as he was, scornfully rejected the slander, and in its defence says of the Cercis, 'It may be called the Judas tree, for it is thought to be that on which Judas hanged himself, and not on the Elder, as is vulgarly said.' So much for a profane writer,who thus tersely and trench-ently defends the honor of the Elder tree".