Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
Jerusalem Botanical Gardens: A Modern Oasis
Modern Jerusalem is a beautiful city built high up on the lovely Judean Mountains of Israel; ascent to her begins on roads bordered by magnificent lush green forests.
As if this is not enough, Jerusalem has a spectacular botanical garden not to be missed when visiting the holy city. The Jerusalem Botanical Garden, located in the Nayot neighborhood, is home to more than 6,200 species, the largest collection of plants in Israel. It is is spread out over 35 acres (120 dunams) in an L shape and is divided into six major geographical areas representing the world’s flora. A few hours here will have you feel as though you have traveled the world to view the creation in its entire splendor!!
Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Information
Entrance tickets to the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens can be purchased in the Nisha Gift Shop. After you enter the garden, a building on the left side houses an information booth. Here you can ask for a map of the gardens in your language and an audio guide. The audio guide covers two tours:
1. The Bible Path Tour
2. Tour with Dr. Michael Avishai covering all geographical sections
If you have children with you, ask to borrow a Young Discoverer Back Pack that includes activities like games, quizzes and other surprises. There is also a Visitors Center with exhibitions, a film about the gardens, an auditorium, and meeting rooms. For current information on hours and prices phone: (02) 679-4012.
In an attempt to save endangered species of wild plants, the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens sells seeds of plants in danger of extinction. The public is invited to join this project and contribute financially to help save these plants. If you are interested in adopting an endangered plant email Tal Secemsky at the Gardens: firstname.lastname@example.org
The six main areas are:
The Mediterranean: All year you will find myriads of flowers, but especially in the spring — including rare coral peonies. There is a lovely plaza here with displays of beautiful flowers.
Europe: This is the area around the beautiful pond with its fascinating lotus water lilies. There are benches here where you can sit back and take in the magnificent view.
South Africa: Children will enjoy the thatched mud hut across from this section and the adults will appreciate the many beautiful acacias and succulents found here.
North America: Here you can find California Redwoods, Maple trees, a lovely water fall and lookout.
Australia: Fragrant eucalyptus trees, Australian Banksias and evergreen Grevilleas are in this section. The adjoining Tropical Conservatory is presently closed to undergo a total renovation. Re-opening is scheduled for the summer of 2014 with a fantastic display of rainforest and extreme desert plants.
Southwest and Central Asia: Here are Biblical and Traditional Crops of the Fertile Crescent where a beautiful vine-covered pergola invites you to sit down. This section includes Anatolian Oak trees, lupines in the spring and yellow sternbergia flowers in the fall. Bordering this area is the Herb and Medicinal Plant Garden with such fragrant favorites like lavender. There are also more unusual medicinal plants here like the Ginkgo Tree.
Map of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
The Bible Path Tour, found on a map of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, covers many biblical plants including wheat, cedar of Lebanon, grapes, papyrus and bulrush, fig, myrtle, almond, pomegranate, tamarisk, olive, hyssop, carob, date palm, jujube, apple, mandrake, white broom (rotem), holy bramble, Mount Tabor Oak, Atlantic Pistachio, common reed, white poplar, gum rockrose and more.
If you are pressed for time or if the weather is too hot for a lot of hiking, you can take a tour of the gardens on the Flower Train – an easy way to visit all six geographical areas. The best time of year to visit is in the early spring or around the Passover season, when flowers are in bloom and cascading colors and scents fill the air.
Opposite the Gift Shop and right next to the beautiful pond covered with lotus flowers is the popular kosher dairy Caffit Restaurant, phone: (02) 648-0003.
Jerusalem Botanical Gardens: Did You Know?
Due to open in 2014 is a Children’s Discovery Path.