Flowers of Israel
Plants of Israel named for Jerusalem
Quite a number of flowers of Israel are named after Jerusalem – and even more bear its name in Hebrew, if not in English!
One of my most treasured possessions is an olive-wood and leather bound book bought in Jerusalem by one of my ancestors on a visit here in the 1850s.
The book contains pressed flowers and plants from holy sites around Eretz Yisrael – the Holy Land. I've had fun identifying the plants in this family heirloom, and along the way I was surprised to discover just how many flowers of Israel are named after Jerusalem.
Here are some examples of native Israeli flora that proudly bear the name of our capital. Many of them are named after it not only in English, but in Latin (hierosolymitanum), too:
- Jerusalem Sage
There are actually two different plants that go by the name of Jerusalem Sage.
- Jerusalem Bellflower (Campanula hierosolymitana) is a pretty lavender-colored flower.
- Jerusalem Autumn Crocus (Colchicum hierosolymitanum) blooms gorgeous large purple flowers before growing its leaves.
- Jerusalem Vetchling (Lathyrus hierosolymitanus)
- Rubiaceae is known in Latin as Galium hierosolymitanum
- Jerusalem Fenugreek (Trigonella kotschyi) sports bright yellow blossoms.
- Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) is known in Hebrew as Oren Yerushalayim.
- Asteraceae -- Lachnophyllum noaeanum is known in Hebrew as Dogon Yerushalmi and is a rare member of the asteraceae family.
- Ranunculus millefolius – Ranunculus in English – is known in Hebrew as Nurit Yerushalmit.
Enjoy more of Jerusalem and Israeli flora at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, where you can stroll through 32 magical acres, viewing many more native plants of Israel, as well as some ten thousand species from around the world.
To turn even a walk through residential Jerusalem streets into a botanical adventure, find out more about the healing plants of Israel, which grow in cracks on sidewalks and walls all over Jerusalem.
Photo credits: Jerusalem vetchling - MathKnight; Aleppo Pine - Giancarlo Dessi, all under a CC by 3.0 license.
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