The tree that bowed down

There are two versions of this story, or maybe two different stories; A brief mention in the Golden Legend and a rather long and involved one in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew than you can read in full here
   The Golden Legend tells us that:
  Cassiodorus tells us in his Tripartite History that in Hermopolis, in the Thiebaid, there is a tree called Persidis. If a fruit, or leaf, or piece of bark from this tree is applied to a sick person’s neck, they will be cured. This tree bent down to the ground and worshipped Christ  when the blessed Mary fled to Egypt.
In the Matthew story a fig tree is involved. It obligingly bowed down so that Joseph could pick the figs and feed his hungry family. This is followed by an involved tale of angels carrying off a branch of the tree to Paradise. 
  There is a similar story in the Qu'ran, (Sura 19:22-26) possibly based on an early apocryphal text but it is not linked to an account of a Flight into Egypt.
  In Italian art, apocryphal tales of bowing trees and so on became less frequent as the years passed, and the Council of Trent reinforced this trend.  sadly, religious art became duller as a consequence. Cheering, then, that Poussin managed to sneak one into his picture.

From Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
Musee Conde, Chantilly

Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi


Anonymous Bolognese artist
Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna

Nicolas Poussin
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

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