Friday, January 22, 2016


Eucalyptus trees are blooming so very beautifully. Together with the flowers, also buds and fruit are present, which makes them truly special, pretty and wonderful.

Eucalyptus trees can be found all over Israel, from the Galilee and the Golan Heights in the north till the Northern Negev Desert in the south. They are not native to the land, but were brought at the end of the nineteenth century from Australia. The idea was to plant them to dry the swamps, and get rid of the dangerous malaria mosquitoes. There are hundreds of different kinds of eucalyptus trees. Here the most common species is the Eucalyptus Camaldulensis, which grows to a stunning height of about 45 meters. Eucalyptus is a very fast growing tree. The leaves contain camphor and other properties and can be steam distilled to extract oil, which has many uses in the pharmaceutic and cosmetic industry. 

The eucalyptus trees are evergreen and blossom for seven or eight months of the year. They are very much appreciated by bee keepers. While it is not a good time for honeybees worldwide, local bee population is thriving. The honey the bees produce from the nectar of the flowers is amber colored, a bit spicy and less sweet than other honeys. The health benefits are enormous.

The eucalyptus trees, together with the palm trees and olive trees are a distinct part of the Israeli landscape. The wind rustling through the long spear like smooth leaves of an eucalyptus grove makes a lovely and peaceful sound, and the scent is fresh and soothing.

Photos by Uri Eshkar, taken yesterday near Omer in the Negev Desert