What’s in Bloom...

What’s in Bloom… in June

By: | Review date: 01-06-2019

June marks a shift in the wildflower season as we begin to see our indigenous trees flowering and bearing young, unripened fruits such as Crataegus aronia (Spiny Hawthorne) and Arbutus andrachne (Eastern Strawberry Tree). Whereas some trees will still have their flowers early this month, you’ll find the fruits toward the end of June.

Alcea setosa Bristly Hollyhock الخطمي الهلبي، خف الجمل
Alcea setosa
Bristly Hollyhock
الخطمي الهلبي، خف الجمل

You will also discover Chiliadenus iphionoides (Sharp varthemia), Echinops adenocaulos (Globe Thistle), Opuntia ficus-indica (Prickly Pear), Nepeta curviflora Boiss (Syrian Catnip), Alcea setosa (Bristly Hollyhock), Daucus carota (Wild Carrot), and Capparis spinosa (Capers). I’ve only found two stories of the caper plant being used in Palestine –though I am certain it was historically used. How can it be that an edible native plant that has healing properties was not utilized by our ancestors? Impossible, though I have yet to find traditional knowledge to the contrary. At our home we pick the caper buds before they flower and pickle them, first curing the buds in water as we do with olives. The plant also makes berries which can be similarly pickled.
And lastly a comment on Prickly Pear. This amazing plant that has become a symbolic reference to Palestinians’ ethnically cleansed villages is actually not indigenous. However, because it thrives in our climate and holds such great cultural and culinary value in Palestine, we have come to think of it as native, so I’ve included it here.

Arbutus andrachne  Eastern Strawberry Tree قيقب
Arbutus andrachne
Eastern Strawberry Tree
قيقب
Capparis spinosa  Capers كبر
Capparis spinosa
Capers
كبر
Crataegus aronia  Spiny Hawthorn  زعرور
Crataegus aronia
Spiny Hawthorn
زعرور
Daucus carota  Wild Carrot لذيقة, يربرزج, جزر بري
Daucus carota
Wild Carrot
لذيقة, يربرزج, جزر بري
Echinops adenocaulos Globe Thistle قوص
Echinops adenocaulos
Globe Thistle
قوص
Nepeta curviflora Boiss Syrian Catnip مقرم مقوس الزهر، شيع
Nepeta curviflora Boiss
Syrian Catnip
مقرم مقوس الزهر، شيع
Opuntia ficus-indica Prickly Pear الصبار
Opuntia ficus-indica
Prickly Pear
الصبار

 

Morgan Cooper is an urban farmer, lacto-fermenter, and designer (she is founder of Little Olea for babies and Handmade Palestine market). She left academia in 2010 to “get her hands dirty,” building an arboretum with her husband and running Café La Vie in Ramallah. Currently, she’s working on an aquaponics “wall” in the café garden that will provide more organic vegetables for the café kitchen. She lives with her husband Saleh Totah in his native Ramallah. They have one wild child who loves to eat freshly picked carrots with a bit of healthy soil in the cracks.