Balbas ni Hudas [Judas' Beard]

My youngest looking sad amid hanging
tentacles of Balbas ni Hudas.
Did you know there's a spreading vine named after the traitor, Judas Iscariot? Balbas ni Hudas  or Judas' Beard is an ornamental plant that more and more folks in Agbanawag, Nueva Ecija are getting fond of. It's a hanging plant with long, thin tentacles looking like string beans as its "fruit." I asked folks in Agbanawag what special use the "fruit" has and they just looked at me blankly and agape, then finally saying it's just for a yard decor.

Balbas ni Hudas--definitely among the unique plants and herbs in the Philippines and Asia--well, perhaps not an herb--yet. Who knows, there may be healing benefits discovered from the vine in the future!

They like having the plant hanging on rooftops or above swimming pools as a shed against sunlight and to produce a jungle or wild life effect. It can be ideal for your greenhouse or backyard garden to act like sun screen or perhaps in your veranda or terrace.

I'm surprise that nothing is said or displayed on Google about Balbas ni Hudas and this is probably the first time this ornamental plant is featured online.

During another visit to Agbanawag, I asked folks there why the name "Balbas ni Hudas"? Even the old folks there weren't sure why the plant was named thus. They just grew up in the place knowing it to be called that. But one ventured further. He said it's been called that since old folks there started associating the verse, "Judas hanged himself," with the hanging plant and mentioned something about the plant figuring in one Lenten community play.


I always see it as a perfect natural curtain for partitioning gardens or yards.

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