Larger and finer meanings are read into the older legends of the plants, and the universality of certain myths is expressed in the concurrence of ideas in the beginnings of the great religions. One of the first figures in the leading cosmologies is a tree of life guarded by a serpent. In the Judaic faith this was the tree in the garden of Eden; the Scandinavians made it an ash, Ygdrasil; Christians usually specify the tree as an apple, Hindus as a soma, Persians as a homa, Cambodians as a talok; this early treee is the vine of Bacchus, the snake-entwined caduceus of Mercury, the twining creeper of the Eddas, the bohidruma of Buddha, the fig of Isaiah, the tree of Aesculapius with the serpent around his trunk.
Source: Myths and Legends of Flowers, Trees, Fruits and Plants, 1911
Contributed by: Zaady