August is here, and the blossom is scanty. Still, Water-plants keep blooming in the entrance lake, and there are flowers in the colorful entrance flower beds. All in all, there is much to see in the garden. The recommended areas for a hike are the shaded areas. The best hours to visit are the afternoon hours, when the sun is getting lower.
This time we’re sending you on a worldwide Sequoia tour: there are three genera of the Sequoia subfamily in the world: one originates in China, the other two in California. You can see all three of them in the garden.
We’ll start at the visitor center, where the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) grows. This conifer tree originates in China, and is one of very few deciduous conifers: during the winter, the tree is barren with no leaves. But now, in summer it is green, beautiful and inviting.
We’ll continue our tour in the North-America section, where we’ll find Sequoia sempervirens, known as the Coastal Redwood, from the California coast. The Coastal Redwood is the tallest tree in the world – the tallest trees are 115 m tall, the tree’s diameter at the base is about 8 m, and they are 2000 years old or more. Our Sequoia trees are much younger – they are about 25 years old, and they have what to aspire to…
You’re welcome to read about them here.
The third of the Sequoias is the Giant Sequoia – Sequoiadendron giganteum. In nature you can find trees 3000 years old. These are the biggest living organisms in the world – the older trees are 90 m tall and the trunk’s diameter is over 10 m. The Giant Sequoia trees in the garden are young, they were planted at 2011. Be careful not to tread on them!
Just down the path from the Giant Sequoia, an impressive shrub is now flowering – Chilopsis linearis, of the Bignoniaceae family. It has beautiful and big flowers. The shrub’s branches are strong and flexible, and were used by the American Indians to build bows and weave baskets. This is a water-saving shrub, recommended for local gardening.
The water plants we talked about last month keep blooming. This time let us stroll near the pools and streams, where Canna flowers bloom. There are four Canna species in the garden, in the picture you can see Canna ‘Erebus’, a beautiful ornamental variant. Another plant, a more modest one, is growing in the pool: Rough Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale). The Rough Horsetail is a living fossil: it is an ancient plant that belongs to a to a big group of plants that thrived in the past, 270 million years ago. It doesn’t have flowers, it reproduces using a crawling stem tuber, and mainly with small cones that have spores. The spores are dispersed by the wind.
At the South-Africa section, above the ancient burial cave, there are several thorny trees, bearing fruit: this is Dovyalis caffra, a tree adapted for seed dispersal using land-fauna: the fruit fall of the tree immediately when they ripen, wildlife eat them and spread the seeds.
Continue to the Mediterranean section, to the Canary pine forest subsection. The ascent to the vista point is shaded by the Canary Island Junipers, Juniperus cedrus, and the Canary Island Pine, Pinus canariensis. The vista point is certainly a nice place to stop in the shade, enjoy the light breeze and look around.
On both sides of the main trail in the Canary Islands subsection there is a shrub with light blue flowers. This is Globularia sarcophylla that originates in the Canary Islands. The Globularia’s name comes from its globe-shaped flowers. This is a resilient water-saving plant, recommended for gardening.
Judah trail in the Mediterranean section passes through a Mediterranean woodland, and it is very inviting this season. The Judah trail is named after Judah Kirshtein, who worked in the Botanical department of the Hebrew University before the establishment of Israel. He donated is estate to the garden.
One of the special trees growing along Judah trail is our plant of the month: the Cork Oak, Quercus suber. This is an impressive oak tree, with thick bark from which cork is produced. You’re welcome to read more about the Cork Oak.
We can return through the pass going up near the western fence of the garden, in the Mediterranean section, the Eastern Mediterranean montane forest, where you can see some lovely trees, such as Quercus ithaburensis – Mount Tabor Oak. Pay special attention to one of the special trees in the garden: the Golden Oak – Quercus alnifolia, with the leaves’ lower side covered golden-yellow felt. This cover reduces water-loss from the Stomata – the openings through which the plant breathes, but water also evaporate from these openings. The Olive trees have a similar mechanism, with the silvery underside of the leaves.
On your way to the garden’s exit, note the blooming flower-bed next to the stream that flows to the lake. In this flower-bed you can find several flower species, standing out among them is the Woodland Sage, Salvia nemorosa. We’re not the only ones attracted to the Sage flowers. Note the many butterflies hovering among the flowers and enjoying them. The woodland sage replaced seasonal plants that we had to replant few times a year. The perennial woodland sage can be renewed only every 3-4 years.
We won’t forget the blooming flower-beds near the path going up on the right side of the restaurant, where x Amarcrinum memoria-corsii is blooming now. This is a sterile hybrid between two genera: Amaryllis belladonna and one of the Crinum species.