Why Israeli women are named "Moran" and "Nurit" (get to know Israeli wildflowers!)

You can smell spring in Israel right now-- the air is light with the spicy perfume of blooming flowers. This weekend we went hiking in the "Gan haSela," a small park full of boulders in the lower Galil. The rocks were amazing (and fun to climb on)-- I'll post those pictures some other time. But on our trip, I annoyed my husband by spending most of my time photographing wildflowers. These are just a few of my pictures. I've tried to identify the flowers by their Hebrew names-- please correct me if I get any wrong!

Above: tofeach yerushaliym (left) and tzharon katan (right). The flower on the right is part of the iris family, obviously, but unlike the larger, showy irises, it's not called an "irus" in Hebrew.

Above: tiltan (good old clover, albeit a bit different from the clover I saw in Pennsylvania!)

Above: nurit (a "Jerusalem buttercup")

Above: rakefet (or, in the plural, rakefot)-- these are VERY common Israeli wildflowers. My husband bought me a pot of these as a houseplant last summer, but I promptly killed them. I guess they like Israeli outdoor conditions better!

In the picture above, you can better see how some of the rakefot are actually light purple!

Above: I'm pretty sure this are called nisanit (or possibly, nisnit). Does anyone know if the name comes from the month nisan?

Above: moran hachorash (I'm guessing this is why "moron" is an insult in English but a beautiful women's name in Israel!)

Above: Ok, so this is a foreign tropical tree (known as an "orchid tree" or bohenia) that has been introduced to Israel, and this flower is blooming in my yard rather than the Gan haSela. But isn't it beautiful?

Unfortunately, my picture of some of the most beautiful flowers blooming right now-- the calaniot-- came out blurry. I guess I'll just have to devote a whole post to them some other time!

I'm submitting this post to this site, which features more flower photography:


  1. These are beautiful. The bottom one looks a bit like hibiscus. I never knew Nurit was a buttercup!

    There's a meme every Sunday called Today's Flowers. You might want to submit this post.

  2. Leora, thanks so much for the idea! I'm submitting this post now!

  3. Welcome to this meme. Thanks for sharing your lovely selection with us. Shavua tov.

  4. Hello from Finland,
    I like a lot the Moran Hachorash.
    I suppose these flowers bloom there now - here in Finland its all snow still.
    What a cute cats own you !
    " Mother of 2 cats "

  5. I love seeing all the beautiful wildflowers! They are wonderful!

    My Today’s Flower’s post is at
    More of Me - EG NO wildflowers yet, though.

  6. So beautiful flowers and so many, I think you have summer, not spring there8)

  7. So many similar flowers between our countries! Wonderful flowers all of them!

  8. what a lovely series of photos......

    Gill in Canada

  9. Beautiful pictures, very interesting to read about the flowers too!
    Thank you for sharing!

  10. Beautiful collection. Loved the Cyclamen flowering in spring. They usually are known as Autumn flowers.
    Bauhinias are not native here to, but they are so spectacular.

  11. All flowers are beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Excellent shots. Mind, the plural of rakefet is rakafot, not rakefot.

  13. rakefet-cyclamen die as soon as the days are hot. Keep them in a cool, shady place, moist but well drained soil to extend there flowering time. They are an annual so they reseed themselves in the wild. They will never survive the whole summer.
    I suspect the Hebrew name for the chrysanthemum type yellow flower is incorrect.
    Nitzanit is a popular garden flower that is a succulent- Kalanchoes in English
    Dvora in Maale Adumim


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