Gaia gave Hera a tree with magical golden apples as a wedding gift. The tree was planted in the Garden of the Hesperides. Ladon is a giant snake or dragon appointed by Hera to serve as the tree’s guardian. There are different versions of his origins. His father may be Typhon or Phorkys. His mother may be Gaia, Keto or Echidna. If Keto is his mother, then Echidna is his sister. Depending on his and their parentage, the Hesperides, the Nymphs who tend the Garden of the Hesperides may be Ladon’s sisters.

In the most famous version of his myth, Heracles kills Ladon in order to steal some golden apples. In other versions, Heracles or Atlas acting on his behalf, obtain the apples in a friendly manner from either Ladon or the Hesperides.


Ladon is huge and powerful. He may have two, three or even one-hundred heads. He is a mimic who can speak with different voices and is fluent in many languages. Nothing indicates that he is hostile or violent as long as you’re not trying to steal what he’s sworn to guard. He is lovable enough that the Hesperides are described weeping at his death.


A big snake wrapped around an apple tree or a one-hundred headed dragon.


Draco the dragon

See Also:

Atlas; Echidna; Gaia; Hera; Heracles; Hesperides; Keto


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.