Ferula hermonis 

On Thursday all of the garden staff went for a botanical tour up Mt. Hermon. Ori led the tour and took us too two sites, a high alpine meadow and a tertiary oak woodland habitat. In the latter area we saw the only known population of Ferula hermonis in Israel. 
Ferula hermonis is said to be an aphrodisiac and is often overgrazed by locals using the herbal remedy. The plant is also processed and sold commercially as a “Natural Viagra” product. This has lead to near extinction in wild populations, this one was only discovered a few weeks before our visit. 
One of the craziest things about field botany is the ability to make almost constant new discoveries. The world is so big and so few knowledgeable plant people are exploring it that the opportunities for those who do are vast. Trips like this really energise me to further explore plants in their natural environment.


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