The harbingers of autumn are proudly lifting up their heads and beginning to flower around the garden. The first to flower is Urginea maritima (sea squill), which can be found in impressive clusters at the edge of the Menashe Garden of Medicinal Plants. Why is Urginea maritima included in this collection? The large and toxic bulb of this plant is rich in glycosides, which, in small doses, can be used in the treatment of cardiac disorders. In many other areas of the Garden, clusters of Pancratium parviflorum (small-flowered pancratium) are scattered, whose unique seeds feature on the garden’s new calendar and which received a lengthy article in The Gardens News autumn 2016. Other autumn bloomers are Drimia undata/Urginea undulata (undulate sea squill) and Scilla hanburyi. Both species grow in desert habitats and have selected for modest flowers that can be barely discerned against the background of their environment.

squills

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