A tree of utmost rarity in Israel was planted in the Knesset gardens last week, as part of the swearing-in of the 22nd Knesset.
Officials know of only a single specimen of ficus palmata — a type of wild fig tree — that remains in the wild in the country. in the mountains near Eilat. Jerusalem’s Botanical Gardens have sought in recent years to breed it in order to prevent its extinction in Israel.
The planting of the ficus is part of a new tradition in which rare and endangered flora is planted in the Knesset gardens, the Haaretz daily reported.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said the legislature was proud to help preserve Israel’s endangered vegetation.
“We will make the ficus palmata a visiting point for the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Knesset,” he said. “I am hopeful that raising awareness to its endangerment will help in the important mission of preserving it.”
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.