12 March 2006
I'm just starting to see the faintest hint of blossoming on my twin redbud trees out front once they get going, they look something like this which means that it's a perfect time to point to this BlogOklahoma story on the official state tree.
In the 1930s, Mrs. Mamie Lee Browne helped organize a campaign for adopting the "eastern" redbud as Oklahoma's state flower. Later this was changed to a campaign for a state tree, when they learned Oklahoma already had a state flower, the mistletoe.
In March 1937, Governor E. W. Marland was about to sign the bill making the redbud the state tree, when a telegram arrived starting a controversy over the redbud. Mrs. Edward Campbell Lawson of Tulsa, president of the National Federation of Women's Clubs, sent the telegram claiming the redbud was the Judas Tree that Judas Iscariot used to hang himself after he betrayed Christ.
The controversy appeared in Newspaper stories and editorials all over the United States and other countries.
The dispute was resolved by an Oklahoma City resident who was a native of Jerusalem. He affirmed that there was no connection between Oklahoma's Redbud tree and Israel's "Judas tree."
With the controversy resolved, on March 30, 1937, Governor Marland signed the bill into law, making the redbud Oklahoma's state tree.
For the purists and/or botanists: our redbud is Cercis reniformis; the Judas tree is Cercis siliquastrum.Posted at 10:17 AM to Soonerland