An extremely rare plant is currently flowering in the Botanic Garden. Carlina racemosa (western carline-thistle) is a thorny annual plant belonging to the Compositae family. Although the species is widespread in large areas of the western Mediterranean basin, in Israel, in the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin, it grows only at one site– the Achu Binyamina (meadow). However, the Achu Binyamina, which is a unique wetland habitat and home to many endangered species, is not an official (protected) nature reserve. Consequently, Carlina racemose, which is found only there, is under a persistent threat of extinction. In summer 2018 Tal Levanony, the garden’s curator, collected the seeds and germinated them, which is why this summer we could enjoy the clusters of yellow flowers that have given the plant its name. This species will be planted in the Botanic Garden at the edges of the pond in the wetland area, which resembles its natural habitat. In this area Althaea officinalis (marsh-mallow) also grows, about which we wrote last winter, and which is another endangered plant (Red List) that came from the Achu Binyamina (meadow).

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