Only In Israel

​Mary's Iris

​Lortet's Iris

Palestine Pheasant's Eye

​Palestine Iris

​Feinbrun's Autumn Crocus

Only In Israel

There are dozens of plants that grow only in Israel or in its immediate surroundings. The botanical term for these plants is endemics. The preservation of these species is paramount for if they disappear from here, they will vanish from the world. A large group of endemic plants can be found on the coastal plain. This is the most congested area in the country, a region where nature is exposed and vulnerable. Unique to the sandy area of this region are several species found only there. They include some of the most beautiful flowers. Some of these species originated from desert plants, migrating north along the coastal sands of the Mediterranean region, and speciating into new local species. Another important group of endemic species are annuals. These plants germinate in the autumn, grow in the winter, flower in the spring and spread their seeds before dying in the summer. It should be noted, that nearly half of the plants in Israel and many of the endemic species are annuals. Local annuals have adapted to cope with our summer. The majority of annuals are easy to grow in cultivation. Rare endemic species are currently grown in most Israeli Botanical Gardens and other smaller shelter gardens. These efforts are done to ensure the viability of this plant's populations in the face of the pressures presented by increased development. Some of these species have become successful garden plants in Israel and abroad. There are iris species that are endemic to Israel and found exclusively in very small areas. They are called Oncocylclus Irises or Royal Irises. The flower is the symbol of the nature preservation societies in Israel and Jordan. Examples of endemic irises are the Purple Iris, which is restricted to the Coastal Plain, the Nazareth Iris in the Galilee, and the Negev Iris of the western Negev. The importance of preserving these plants arises not only from their rarity and uniqueness in our region, but also due to their special beauty. Many of Israel's endemic species are not rare. For example, the winter crocus is common to the Mediterranean region, and Tuvia's Autumn Crocus, which is common to the transition belt. All of these flowers embody the essence of the unique Israeli landscape and flora; only those who travel and hike throughout the country will have the pleasure of experiencing this distinct flora and scenery.