This week our recommendations are brought to you by Brandon George, intern at the Jerusalem Botanical Garden
As the days are getting noticeably longer, there are more hours for us to take into account what plants are changing and blooming during the winter. With the last 2 weeks being rainy there is plenty of moisture to help many plants put on an incredible display of flowers. Here are a few highlights of the garden now that you must see when visiting the Jerusalem Botanical Garden. It is worth noting how quickly the plants are changing this time of year so make sure you plan your visit accordingly to avoid missing these highlights.
If you have time to visit only one section while you are here, be sure to go to the South African part of the garden. There are too many plants that are in bloom and worth seeing to list here but I will highlight the Euryops pectinatus. This plant is one that is special to me as I had to memorize this plant for a Plant identification class. The bright yellow is really remarkable especially on cloudy days that we can sometimes have during the winter here in Jerusalem. Finally the towering torch-like flowers of the Aloes spp. are incredible. They vary in height but are always colors of fire. In mass display they are certainly striking. Be sure to visit the garden and see these incredible plants for yourself.
In the Australian section, be sure to find the several species of Grevillea flowering now including G. juniperina ‘Molonglo’ with its pale yellow flowers and G. johnsonii which has large reddish-pink curled over flowers with incredibly long styles. Look closely to appreciate their unique flower shape and imagine what kind of insect or bird, hint, hint would pollinate this. Also in this section look for Acacia cultriformis. The large shrub produces vibrant chartreuse foliage which is intensified on a sunny day. However, be wary of touching its spiny saw-like foliage.
In the Mediterranean section find the Crateaugus azarolus trees covered in bright red berries. It’s so heavy with fruit you might mistake it as leaves from afar! With the screen of towering Cedrus atlantica as a backdrop, the silhouette of red really stands out as a striking display in the garden. Along the dry river bed are clumps of Iris unguicularis on the slopes along the bank. The pale violet flowers act as interesting ornamental understory plant here amongst the shade of the trees. Opposite of them are Cyclamen persicum which are scattered in clumps along the limestone wall where they too are an understory plant here. Because the wall is raised you can easily get up close to view their striking flower forms. Sometimes they are fragrant too