Just in time for Tu BiShvat the almond tree (Amygdalus communis, common almond, "shkedia") has begun to flower in the Mediterranean maquis section.

The almond tree sheds its leaves in early autumn and blooms in mid-winter. The blooming precedes leaf emergence and clothes the naked branches in lovely white-pink flowers. The flowering process begins after the tree has met its chilling requirements, and usually lasts till March.
There are three other almond species in Israel: A. korschinskii, A. ramonensis, and A. Arabica. The latter two are very rare species and their distribution in Israel is limited. The Botanical Garden used to have all four almond species in its plant collection, but unfortunately we no longer have A. Arabica. The flowering common almond (A. communis) can be seen near the office building in the garden.

Photos: Yuval Sapir

Photos: Yuval Sapir

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