In the Mediterranean scrub area in the Garden there are a few hidden plots of rockery and rocky walls. Rocky habitats, cliffs and bluffs create a unique habitat which differs from its surrounding area.

Plants that grow in this habitat are able to exploit the small volume soil pockets and rock crevices, which tend to dry out quickly. Some of the plants are adapted to these habitats. In some cases they can grow in a very shallow soil layer and are adapted to the dryer conditions, as are some stonecrop species (Sedum spp.). Others have a root system that is able to grow into the rock crevices while dissolving the rocks themselves, such as the golden drop (Podonosma orientalis) and white-leaved savory (Micromeria fruticosa). These plants prefer the rocky habitats as their special adaptations give them a relative advantage, enabling them to avoid   competition with other plants over better quality habitats. Several typical and interesting plants have recently been planted in the rocky walls and rockery, such as Stachys distans,  which blooms in a pinkish-white color; Crete cabbage (Brassica cretica), which blooms in yellow and is a close relative of the garden cabbage (Brassica oleracea); and rough-leaved Michauxia (Michauxia campanuloides),  which has big white flowers with a unique structure. The latter two are “Red species”, in danger of extinction in Israel.

Photo: Kineret Manevich

White-leaved savory, Photo: Kineret Manevich

Photo: Kineret Manevich

Rocky habitats in the scrub, Photo: Kineret Manevich