Forget door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles. Just give me flowers. It might sound cliche, but they really are one of my favorite things. Since it’s Adar, the happiest month on Hebrew calendar, I’ve been indulging in happy things. I spent a morning hiking with some of my favorite people people and saw magnificent flowers. The white petals are raining from the almond trees, and the hills surrounding my house are full of bright red poppies (פרג) and anemones (כלניות) sans Wizard of Oz. I can’t actually tell the difference between them, but I still love them. Fields are yellow with spring groundsel (סביונים), and purple cyclemen (רקפות) are hiding in the shade behind rocks and trees. No picking, though! Cyclemen and anemones are officially “protected flowers” that are illegal to pick in Israel. If you’re here, try to find a chance to get away from your computer, the kitchen, the Pesach cleaning, and the half-made Purim costumes and get out to see the beauty around you. If you’re not in Israel, this is what you’re missing:
Even closer to home, my parking lot is full of yellow flowers that have the same nickname in Hebrew as sour sticks candy, chamtzutzim (חמצוצים). They are actually called חמציץ נטוי chamtzitz natui, known in English as Bermuda Buttercup or Soursob. Their sour name comes from the fact that if you pick them and suck on the bottom of the stem, they taste sour. My girls love them.
But not as much as they love these sweet flowers growing down the block. They pluck the orange blossoms from this local variety of honeysuckle and suck the sweet nectar.
As far as I know, the sweet and sour flowers aren’t “protected.” For a complete list of protected and endangered wildflowers in Israel, see Wild Flowers of Israel.
What are some of your favorite things?