Ben-Gurion Park is notable for the variety of trees it contains, which give it the appearance of a botanical garden comprised of over thirty different species. Here you can find fruit trees such as black mulberry, white mulberry, olive and carob, and typical forest trees such as Jerusalem pine and casuarina growing alongside many lesser-known varieties. The list below provides an introduction to three species found in the park.
The fever tree - Acacia (Vachellia) xanthophloea
A prickly tree whose trunk and limbs have a distinctive yellowish tinge. Its cruel thorns can be as much as eight centimeters in length. It grows wild in East Africa and South Africa in damp habitats, such as the banks of lakes and rivers, and in regions susceptible to flooding. When the first Europeans to reach Africa observed the connection between areas where this tree was found and the presence of malaria, they named it the fever tree.
The fever tree puts out yellow flowers between the months of March and May, and its fruit, unlike that of acacia varieties that grow wild in Israel, takes the form of completely straight pods. It is a fast grower and adapts quickly to conditions in the Negev.
The siris tree – Albizia lebbeck
In the wild this tree can reach a height of up to thirty meters, and its pinnate leaves can consist of up to four pairs of leaflets. Its most easily recognizable feature is its large pods (between 15 and 30 centimeters in length), in which the seeds can be seen bulging beneath the skin. The siris tree grows wild in the region between Indonesia and Northern Australia, and it is cultivated in parks and gardens throughout the world.
Cadaga - Eucalyptus torelliana / Corymbia torelliana
The unsuspecting visitor would never guess that this tree with the narrow crown and broad pale green leaves belongs to the eucalyptus family, as it in no way resembles other members of the species with which we are familiar.
This tree looks different because it originated in Australia’s rainforests rather than in the arid areas of that distant continent. Its beauty is enhanced by its reddish bark, its peeling trunk and the abundance of white flowers it produces in May.