Welcome

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.

Contact

The Botanical Garden for Israeli Flora
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mount Scopus 91905
Israel
Telephone: 972-2-588-2596
Email:msbotanic@savion.huji.ac.il

 

Information for Visitors

 

Information fo Visitors

We wish you an enjoyable visit to the Botanical Garden of Mount Scopus, Jerusalem. Abiding by the facility rules will ensure that you and all those after you have a pleasant stay.

Cutting or picking plants is strictly prohibited.
Visitors must remain on designated paths at all times.
No climbing the fences. 
No dogs allowed in the Garden.
Swimming  in any of the bodies of water is prohibited.
No fires allowed.

Please keep the Garden clean! There are many trash cans located throughout the grounds.

Directions

Public transportation: Bus lines 30, 26, 23, 68, 46,19, 4a
Private vehicle: Coming from the west, head toward French Hill and Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus. Municipal parking lots are located close to the university. 
Walking: Enter through the Social Sciences gate. Identification is required.

Opening Hours

Sunday-Thursday: 8:00-17:00
Friday: 8:00-13:00
The Garden is closed on Saturdays and holidays. 
Group visits should be arranged in advance.
Entrance is free. Guided tours by garden staff are available for a fee.
The Garden is closed on intermediate Jewish holidays, as well as during the last week of August.

Group Visits

Arrangements must be made in advance for access to the university. Please fax a written request to the Security Department at 02-588-1636. Call 02-588-2018 to confirm authorization. The fax must be received at least one week before the requested tour date.

The fax should read as follows:

To: Security Department
Re: Group visit to the Mount Scopus Botanical Garden 
On (date)_____ at (time)_____ we are interested in a guided group tour of the Mount Scopus Botanical Garden.

If the group will be arriving by bus, a specific request must be submitted for the bus to enter university grounds.

If the group will be arriving on foot, a request must be submitted for entry through the Social Sciences Department gate.

Please include a list of the tour participants' names and details of the contact person.

Guided tours by Botanical Garden staff are available for a fee. For more information please call 02-588-2596.

 

 

The Garden's Plant Collection

To the Garden searchable plant database (in Hebrew).

Archaeology in the Garden

 

Within the confines of the Botanical Garden are ancient burial caves from the Second Temple period. One of the more well known burial caves is the Nicanor Tomb, consisting of limestone ossuaries and a revealing inscription written in Hebrew and Greek: "The bones of Nicanor of Alexandria who made the doors Nicanor Alexa." Archaeologists surmised that the tomb contains the hidden remains of Nicanor of Alexandria, a Jewish benefactor who provided the two copper gates for the Second Temple. Today, visitors can see reconstructed ossuaries within the burial caves, as the originals have been moved for display to the British Museum in London.

The Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Yoma 38A, relates a miraculous story regarding Nicanor:

"Miracles happened to Nicanor's doors. The sages recount what were the miracles of his doors: When Nicanor was returning from Alexandria in Egypt to bring the doors a huge wave threatened to engulf him. Thereupon, he took one of the doors and cast it into the sea, but still the sea continued to rage. When they prepared to cast the other one into the sea, Nicanor rose and clung to it, saying, 'Cast me in with it.' The sea immediately became calm. He was, however, deeply grieved about the other door. As they reached the harbor of Acre (present-day Acco in Israel), the door broke the surface and appeared from under the sides of the boat."

The archaeological site is also noteworthy for the Nazir caves, used as a family burial ground for the Nazir family of the first century CE. Inside the tomb, two burial caskets and fourteen ossuaries were found, most of which were adorned. Some of them had Aramaic inscriptions recounting Hanania Bar-Jonathan the Nazir, his wife Shalom and other family members.

 

Sustainability projects

 

Rainwater Recycling

 

The global water shortage is steadily intensifying due to natural population growth, pollution and unwise water usage. Water consumption in Israel is among the highest in the world. There are a few ways to lessen the water crisis, such as: pollution prevention, desalination, conservation, and recycling reclaimed water and saltwater. Using water to flush bathroom waste accounts for one-quarter of household water use. In our rain collection system, water is collected from the rooftop and channeled to a toilet cistern. In Jerusalem, the average amount of rainfall per year is approximately 500 mm. The amount of rain which falls on a 50 sqm rooftop is about 25 cubic meters. Our system uses containers of three cubic meters, enough to maintain a toilet cistern for about four months. The rain recycling project is an educational initiative in the field of sustainability, which is in line with the Garden's ecological vision.

Contact Us

 

The Botanical Garden for Israeli Flora
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mount Scopus 91905
Israel
Telephone: 972-2-588-2596
Email:msbotanic@savion.huji.ac.il

 

Botanical Garden Map

 

One of the Botanical GardenGarden's primary aims is to protect rare and endangered plants that are native to Israel. Accelerated urban development, decreased water resources and the penetration of invasive plant species is leading to the destruction of natural habitats, the displacement of local flora and a rise in the number of endangered plant species. The Mount Scopus Botanical Garden displays close to 1,000 species of native Israeli plants, of which approximately 240 are considered rare or endangered.

The Geophyte Collection - Bulb plants and buds of various types. This collection includes the endemic Oncocyclus Iris.

The Seed Collection - Established in order to enrich the Garden's plant collection, to enable trade with other botanical gardens, and as a possible seed reserve for the reintroduction of wild species.

>>Botanical Garden Map

 

People of the garden

Virtual tour

Join us on a virtual tour of the Mount Scopus Botanic Garden

Square of ferns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Waterpipe Pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The grave of Nikanor