I read your article on the Judas tree today and have this quote from another source in connection with the Judas tree.
"But every insect--bee or butterfly--that ventures to rest upon the edge of its blossom is overcome by a fatal, curious sort of opiate, or sleeping-draught which the flower-juice contains, and drops dead upon the ground beneath!"
I was wondering if this is fact. Could you help with this inquiry?
Your Judas tree is associated with, and the common name of, many world-wide members of the redbud family (Cercis). Our native North American redbud or Cercis canadensis is a beautiful tree and a favorite food for butterfly larvae and a long-tounged bee magnet (see my photo gallery). To my knowledge, it is not an opiate and does not negatively affect any flora or fauna.
The specific redbud that is most often labeled Judas tree is Cercis siliquastrum and lives in Mediterranean and Asia minor countries. That tree is the one most associated as "Judea's tree" and is supposedly the tree Judas Iscariot hanged himself after betraying Christ.
Mature Redbud in Central Park, NYC - Photo © 2007 Steve Nix, licensed to About.com