Botanising Israel, an epic adventure of war and wildflowers, part 6

Israels national collection of Oncocyclus iris is held at Ramat hanadiv the burial place of Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934). Edmond was a major figure in the establishment of the modern state of Israel and through his support for the Jewish community based in British mandate Palestine he enabled a safe haven for Jews fleeing Russia (during the post revolutionary chaos called the Third Aliyah) and Europe prior to the  Second World War. A major land owner in British Mandate Palestine Rothschild firmly believed in creating a unified Arab/Jewish state and famously wrote to the League of Nations “the struggle to put an end to the wandering Jew, could not have as its result, the creation of the Wandering Arab.” Alas history has since played its hand.

The Iris at Ramat Hanadiv are mostly held in behind the scenes propagation facilities but as part of the project the centre has set up a display garden to showcase the different species of Oncocyclus from Israel and its neighbouring countries. We visited expecting to see some Iris and we really were not dissapointed!

Ramat Hanadiv

The propagation area at Ramat Hanadiv just full of Iris

Signage in the Iris garden in Israels 3 national languages.

Signage in the Iris garden in Israels 3 national languages.

Iris atropurpurea flowering in Ramat Hanadiv's iris garden

Iris atropurpurea flowering in Ramat Hanadiv’s iris garden

 

The Iris mariae flowering in Ramat Hanadiv made me wonder how my very own plant of it was faring back home in North Wales.

The Iris mariae flowering in Ramat Hanadiv made me wonder how my very own plant of it was faring back home in North Wales.

Iris hermona

Iris hermona

Iris atrofusca

Iris atrofusca

Iris samariae

Iris samariae

Iris mariae in the propagation area

Iris mariae in the propagation area

 

Iris atropurpurea

Iris atropurpurea

 

Ramat hanadiv isnt just about Iris. They hold exsitu populations of many of Israels threatened plant species. This is Lotus edulis (the pods of which are very tasty).

Ramat hanadiv isnt just about Iris. They hold exsitu populations of many of Israels threatened plant species. This is Lotus edulis (the pods of which are very tasty).

 

Sedum litoreum

Sedum litoreum

 

Salvia eigii

Salvia eigii

Reichardia intermedia

Reichardia intermedia

 

Cerinthe palaestina

Cerinthe palaestina one of my favorite Israeli native plant species

The Iris hermona flower that I was allowed to bring home and add to my herbarium

The Iris hermona flower that I was allowed to bring home and add to my herbarium

Ramat Hanadiv is an inspirational place to visit. A tranquil garden celebrating and remembering the life of an extraordinary man.

We would very much like to thank the team there for hosting us and giving us the time they did to show us the work they are doing to try and protect some of Israel’s extraordinary plant species.