This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Small deciduous trees, easily distinguished from all other hardy trees of this class by their simple reniform or cordate leaves. Flowers somewhat papilionaceous, but the upper petal interior, usually purple or rose, rarely white, produced in fascicles along the branches. Pod oblong or broadly linear, flat, with a narrow wing along the upper suture. The ancient Grecian name.
1. C. Siliquastrum (fig. 78). Judas Tree. - A small tree of remarkably ungainly irregular growth, but of handsome foliage and flowers. Leaves glabrous, entire, reniform, rounded at the apex. Flowers rosy-purple, produced in Spring before the leaves have attained their full development. There is a white-flowered variety, but it appears to be very rare. A native of Western Asia.
Fig. 78. Cercis Siliquastrm. (1/8 nat. size.)
3. C. Chinensis, syn. C. Japonica. - This is of quite recent introduction, and a very handsome species. In foliage it closely resembles Canadensis. The rosy-pink flowers are larger, however, and very numerous, and produced on the old wood in Spring before the appearance of the leaves.