Species of rare wild plants are not common. Their distribution is diminishing to the extent that many of them will soon become extinct. A rare plant is not necessarily a 'protected' one. Most protected plants, like the native Cyclamen persicum (rakefet) or Anemone coronaria (kalanit), have particularly lovely flowers which, in the past, were eagerly picked by passersby. Unlike them, rare plants do not always have attractive blossoms, and in fact most of them are not protected by law.
At the end of 2007, the management of Ramat Hanadiv's Nature Park decided to initiate a programme to protect and conserve the rare plant species found on its grounds. It was decided to compile a list of the Nature Park's rare species, locate and map each one within the park, and set priorities in order to determine which plants would be protected first.
Cross-referencing the list of Ramat Hanadiv's plants with the list of plants in Israel which rates the rarity of each species yielded a list of 40 rare plant species growing at Ramat Hanadiv. During 200809, Ramat Hanadiv's rare plant species were located and mapped with the help of GPS. The list was then submitted to a dozen botanists experienced in nature protection in Israel, who helped choose the ten rare species that would get top priority in the conservation programme.
Today, Ramat Hanadiv conserves its rare vegetation using the same methods used around the world: in situ - in nature, in their natural surroundings at Ramat Hanadiv, and ex-situ - in the nursery. In addition, seeds and plants of endangered rare species are sent to botanical gardens in Israel, to the Israel Gene Bank, and to the Royal Horticultural Society's World Gene Bank, at Wakehurst Place in England, to ensure long-term conservation.
Dr. Racheli Schwartz -Tzachor