Erguvan is known as Judas Tree or as European Redbud in the English speaking world. But I always call it as “erguvan”.
Not only the tree, but also its flowers and the reddish-purple colour of those flowers are called as “erguvan” in Turkish. The story of this beautifully coloured flowers is as follows: Judas tree had white flowers at the beginning. But its flowers turned into reddish-purple because of the shame that the tree felt for Judas hanging himself on a Judas Tree after betraying Christ. And also the reddish-purple of judas trees was the colour of Byzantine royal family; only members of the Byzantine royalty could wear clothes which had the colour of flowers of Judas Trees, and the heirs of Byzantine Empire were all born in a room which was coloured as such, because it was believed that the Byzantine Empire was founded on the day when the Judas Trees bloomed. It is said that Theodora, Empress of the Byzantine Empire, declined the advise of fleeing from rioters of Nika riots by telling “The most beautiful shroud is erguvan coloured cape.”
Erguvan trees bloom between the second half of April and the first half of May, and then:
The blue of Bosphorus, the green of pine trees and the reddish-purple of erguvan blossoms blend and create a beauty that one would wish losing herself in…
Having said all these, look what I found when I got back from my summer holiday in September at the end of September (a summer holiday in September is not an oxymoron!):
A bloomed erguvan tree…an erguvan tree bloomed at the end of September… an erguvan tree bloomed when it has seeds pods: in short a baffled erguvan tree! (Sometimes a tree may blossom after several hot days, long before its blooming time and we call it as “şaşırmış” meaning more or less “baffled”… and the flowers of that baffled tree will eventually be wiped out by the cold weathers ahead:( ) True, the blossoms of that baffled erguvan is not as wild as, as crazy as the erguvan blossoms in spring, but hey, this is the second month of autumn, so don’t be unfair by expecting mesmerizing erguvan blossoms of spring!
But the thing that I could’t get about this erguvan tree is: I know İstanbul was desperately cold when I was on holiday. It was cold, rainy, no sun for at least 10 days. So how did this erguvan find a reason to be baffled?