The Memorial Gardens cover an area of 7 hectares at an altitude of 130 m above sea level, and are home to about 200 plant species belonging to 163 genera and 76 families (not including seasonal annual species and wild herbaceous plant species).
Most of the area of the Memorial Gardens is dedicated to ornamental plants from around the world, growing in various flower beds and gardens, but since the Gardens’ establishment they have also been home to wild, native, Israeli plant species, without irrigation or special treatment. The areas of native vegetation together comprise almost one third of the area of the Memorial Gardens (about 2 hectares). The native species include mainly wild trees and herbaceous vegetation characteristic of the Ramat Hanadiv region. Some of them, such as Persian cyclamen, poppy anemone and hyacinth squill, adorn the gardens with beautiful flowering carpets in the winter. Other plants, such as white micromeria, fringed rue, Syrian oregano and Mediterranean wild thyme, known as herbs for cooking and for tea, grow together with ornamental plants in the Fragrance Garden. Different corners of the gardens are home to attractive wild trees, such as Judas tree, Syrian maple, Oriental plane, Mount Tabor oak, Mt. Atlas mastic tree and carob.
In total there are 56 species of wild Israeli plants growing in the Gardens. Their integration in the Gardens contributes to the conservation of these wild plants and supports insects, birds and other animals that feed on them.
Likewise, the Memorial Gardens house a special conservation project for nine spectacular wild species of Oncocyclus irises (Aril irises), all of which are ‘red’ species in danger of extinction in Israel. In order to conserve all of these iris species we established a special garden for them that serves as an example of ex situ conservation outside of their natural habitats. The aims of this garden are to serve as a backup for the wild iris populations in the event that they are harmed, and to familiarize visitors with these spectacular wild plants as well as other species of Oncocyclus irises originating in the countries neighboring Israel.
We have also published the book “Secrets of Irises”, which includes extensive information on these iris species in Hebrew and in English. You can obtain it at the InfoShop, tel: 04-6298111 ext. 4.