The field of anemones near the Megiddo airstrip in the north is one of Israel’s most beautiful and best-known wildflower sites. This season is their big moment. Don’t wait another minute and go there right away. It’s the medicine we all need. Megiddo provides the cure.
A recent visit to the relatively small Jezreel Valley site – which is about a kilometer long and several hundred meters wide – left me in amazement. The beauty of the anemone field is simply perfect – a serene island of quiet just a few hundred meters from busy Route 65.
The uniqueness of the site is that most of the anemones here are not red, as they commonly are in Israel. At Megiddo, the vast majority of the anemones are white, pink or purple
It’s also easy to become addicted to. I came to spend half an hour there and ended up staying four hours.
The uniqueness of the site is that most of the anemones there are not red, as they commonly are in Israel. At Megiddo, the vast majority of the anemones – which are from the buttercup family – are actually white, pink or purple. An important ingredient in what makes this place special is that they bloom in a eucalyptus grove that provides them both sufficient bits of sunlight and shade.
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The anemones south of Israel’s coastal lowlands are all red, and they’re also more resilient to dryness. The white and purple anemones of the north are more delicate. They need the right kind of soil, rain, cold and humidity. Judging by how they looked at Megiddo, they seem to have everything there that they like.
The British established the landing strip at Megiddo 80 years ago, in the middle of World War II. The little airfield was part of a network that they created in the country at the time to defend against approaching German forces. There are still several British buildings at the site, and the field of flowers is next to the fence around the landing strip where small civilian aircraft take off and land.
The combination is an amazing sight – white anemones next to flying machines. There was a time when the site was proposed for an international airport, but at the moment, the plan appears to have been shelved, thankfully.
The anemone grove is cared for by the Jewish National Fund. There are designated footpaths from either side of the access road. And the grove on the western side (to the left of the road) is more interesting and beautiful.