Several seedling of Althaea officinalis were planted this winter around the pool in the water plant collection. This species, belonging to the Malvaceae family, is a rare plant and had been considered extinct in Israel. In 2016 a single plant was found in the Achu Binyamina (meadow) reserve. Seeds collected from this very rare plant were brought to the Botanic Garden and germinated surprisingly easily in the Garden’s nursery. A. officinalis is considered a medicinal plant, and the secondary metabolites derived from the roots are useful for treating cough. The common name of this species is marsh-mallow. In the past a gelatin-like material was extracted from its roots and was used to make marshmallow candy.  

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