Pinsteps. Khubeza: The Bread-Like Plant with Marshmallow Ties
Places to visit in ישראל. Languages: en

The most widespread and succulent plant in this region is known as "Khubeza" in Arabic or "Mallow" in English. The English name comes from Middle English "malwe," derived from Old English "mealwe," which itself was borrowed from Latin "malva." This lineage of the name reflects the plant's long-standing recognition across cultures.

In Arabic, the plant is called خُبَازَى (Khubeza). The name is connected to the word خُبْز (Khobz) - bread, possibly due to the round shape of the plant's seeds, reminiscent of a loaf of bread. In Hebrew, the plant is known as חלמית (Chalamit), and in other instances in Jewish texts, it's referred to as "חלמה" (Chalmah). The name also appears in Syriac as ܚܠܲܡܬܵܐ (Chalamta), referring to the marshmallow plant (from which marshmallow candy was originally made), due to its similarity to the medicinal plant Althaea officinalis.

Some interpreters suggest that this plant is mentioned in the Bible under the name "חַלָּמוּת" (Chalamut) in the Book of Job, although this interpretation is not universally accepted. The Mallow, also known as "Khubeza" in Arabic, "Arabian Bread," and "Dwarf Bread," is historically significant in Israel, especially in Jerusalem. During the siege in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the residents of Jerusalem consumed it as a food source during times of scarcity. The plant thrives in wild fields, neglected areas, but also in home gardens, symbolizing resilience and adaptability.

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Evgeny Praisman
Hiking trip to Hotam HaCarmel in Binyamina-Giv'at Ada of Dec 30, 2023

Embark on a captivating hiking adventure through the southern part of Mount Carmel, just a few moments away from the enchanting Ein Zur Spring. This scenic trail offers a convenient and free parking area, making it the perfect starting point for your journey. After your hike, you can relax in the beautiful surroundings of the spring.

In December, you'll be treated to a mesmerizing display of wildflowers, including marigolds, anemones, and cyclamens. As you ascend the cliffs of the mountain, you'll encounter a breathtaking viewpoint where you can take a break and enjoy the splendid vista.

Along the way, you'll discover ancient burial mounds, remnants of early civilizations. Further ahead lies a Roman and Byzantine villa and farm, providing fascinating insights into the region's history.

The trail then winds through the lush Gariga, leading you across the Crocodile River's stream to the main square of Rothschild Park, a popular gathering spot for hikers.

Your journey culminates with a visit to the remarkable ruins of Houri Farm, the ancient Greek fortress of Aleq, the Zur Spring, and the scenic park that surrounds it. This hiking route promises an unforgettable exploration of nature, history, and culture.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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