The Botanical Garden of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus was founded in 1931 by Professor Otto Verburg, founder of the Hebrew University Department of Botany, and Dr. Alexander Eig, a leading researcher in the fields of botany and phytogeography in Israel. The university-based botanical garden, the first of its kind in Israel, is recognized under the Botanical Gardens Law of 2006. The Garden covers over 25 dunams (6 acres) and houses more than 950 plant species, representing over 40% of the wild plant species of Israel.
The Botanical Garden is unique as an ecological conservatory for a diverse collection of plant groups, preserving authentic Israeli species within their natural habitats from around the country. This includes, for example, Mediterranean scrub, desert grasslands, Negev mountain ranges, coastal sand dunes, bodies of water and traditional orchards, preserving their natural appearance in accordance with the changing seasons. Multiple phytogeographical areas can be represented at the Botanical Garden thanks to its geographical location on Mount Scopus - where divergent climates come together.
The Garden is an enchanting natural hideaway within an urban landscape, a sanctuary for many animals and endangered plant species. Moreover, the decline in open spaces throughout the country and continuing environmental degradation increases the significance of the Botanical Garden.
Within the confines of the Botanical Garden are ancient burial caves from the Second Temple period. Buried in these caves is Nicanor of Alexandria, who brought the copper doors of the Temple. Since then, Zionist leaders Dr. Yehuda Leib Pinsker and Menachem Ussishkin have also been buried in the Nicanor caves.
The combination of natural flora with history and archaeology genuinely reflects the characteristic landscape of the Israeli homeland. The Mount Scopus Botanical Garden in memory of Montague Lamphert is a precious cultural asset, which must be well tended and developed.
The Botanical Garden for Israeli Flora
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mount Scopus 91905