Wild orchids of Israel. Part 2

How we have become “hunters of orchids”.

Ophryis. (Photo by Iliya Lifland)
Ophryis. (Photo by Iliya Lifland)

What’s striking: Israel – a small country, but its flora and fauna are very diverse. The reason for this diversity is that Israel is at the crossroads of three natural regions: the Euro-Mediterranean, Iran-Turanskogo and East Africa.
Flora there are over 2500 species (including 250 available only in Israel) – from the Alps like in the north to the Saharan like in the south. The natural landscape of Israel with typical evergreen forests has undergone significant changes under the influence of logging and intensive grazing. Only a few – mostly mountainous and desert – areas preserved natural vegetation.
In Israel, is very popular botanical walk, because there are many subjects to see. To do so, issued special guides, taking advantage of any, even it is not versed in botany people can go in a certain place admire the flowers. Books inexpensive and have a form suitable for use directly in the forest. Many go with them to identify plants on the move. For Orchids is a special book «The wild orchids of Israel» by Asaph Shifman, published in 2004. In addition to the story about the various types of local orchids, it includes walking routes to the places where they growing and the dates of flowering for different species. A more precise timing of flowering can be viewed on the site Flowering Reports, where fans of flowers convey information found on their flowering plants across the country.
Также очень удобна книга «Цветочные прогулки» Авиноама Денина и Арье Ицхаки, в которой предлагаются прогулки по местам цветения разных растений, с указанием сроков цветения и подробными картами маршрута.

Orchid, filmed by us, bloom in March-April 2006
From November to June, Israeli orchids bloom in almost all parts of Israel, including the desert: in the mountains of Judea, at the Mount Caramel, on the slopes of Mount Hermon, in the seaside lowlands, in the northern Negev and the Arava sources in the semi desert.
For hundreds of years in the Middle East orchids bulbs used for manufacturing variety «love drinks». The drink prepared from milled bulbs and is very expensive, because for manufacturing requires a lot of plants. In addition, many chances that orchids beverage that you buy will be made of starch from flavoring additives and «spices».
After a successful photo-hunting to irises comes the idea to collect photos of the wild orchids. Iris in Israel is 8 species, 7 of them we found in one season. Orchid is 31, and of them, we were able to photograph 13 in one season. As they say, feel difference. But I was always inclined to adventures, though I try to look like a very serious person. In this pursuit, I naturally involved my husband. Otherwise, who will take pictures and drive a car? And now, armed with two copies of «Wild orchids Israel» by Asaph Shifman and «Flower walks» by Avinoama Denina and Arye Yitzhaki, we came to the difficult hunters orchids road.

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