Plants of the Bible and Middle East

Plant enthusiasts come in all stripes. There have been many attempts to create “Biblical gardens” using plants mentioned in the Bible.

In Fair Haven, Vermont, the First Congregational Church created a wonderful list of plants and the verse in which they are mentioned.

Lytton John Musselman researched all of the plants mentioned in the Bible and has listed them and their scientific name for us. They are:

Acacia (Acacia tortilis and other species)

Almond (Amygdalus communis)

Aloe (Aloe vera)

Apple (Pyrus malus)

Balm of Gilead (Cistus incanus and perhaps other species of Cistus)

Barley (Hordeum vulgare)

Bean (Vicia fava)

Black cumin (Nigella sativa)

Blight or blasting (Various fungi) Blight

Bramble (Rubus sanguineus)

Broom (Retama raetum)

Calamus (Acorus calamus)

Cane (Arundo donax)?

Caper (Capparis spinosa)

Carob (Ceratonia siliqua)

Cassia, cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum, C. zeylandica) Cassia, cinnamon

Cattail (Typha domingensis)?

Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Cotton (Gossypium sp.)

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Dove’s dung (Ornithalagum umbellatum?), or perhaps Muscari commutatum or the seeds of Ceratonia siliqua)

Ebony (Diospyros ebenum)

Fig (Ficus carica)

Flax (Linum ustitatissimum)

Flowers of the field (Various plants) Flowers of the field

Frankincense (Boswellia species)

Galbanum (Ferula galbaniflua)

Gall (Conium maculatum or Papaver somniferum?) Gall

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Gourd (Citrullus colycinthus)

Grape (Vitis vinifera)

Gum resin (Pistacia palaestina?) Gum Resin or Mastic

Gum tragacanth (Astragalus gummifer?) Gum Tragacanth

Henna (Lawsonia inermis)

Hyssop (Origanum syriacum)

Ladanum (Cistus incanus) (See Balm of Gilead)

Laurel (Laurus nobilis) Laurel See also the article Wreaths by Irwin.

Leeks (Allium porrum or A. kurrat)

Lentil (Lens culinaris)

Lign aloes or aloe wood (Aquilaria malaccensis?)

Lily of the field (Anemone coronaria?)

Lily of the valley (Various)

Mandrake (Mandragora autumnalis)

Melon (Citrullus lanatus)

Millet (Sorghum vulgare)

Mildew (Various fungi)

Mint (Mentha longifolia)

Mustard (Brassica nigra or B. alba)

Myrrh (Commiphora gileadensis).

Myrtle (Myrtus communis)

Nettles (Urtica pilulifera)

Oak (Quercus calliprinos and Q. ithaburensis)

Olive (Olea europaea)

Onion (Allium cepa)

Palm (Phoenix dactylifera)

Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus)

Pines (Pinus halepensis and P. pinea)

Pistachio (Pistacia vera)

Plane tree (Platanus orientalis)

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Poplars (Populus euphratica and P. alba)

Reed (Phragmites australis)

Rose of Sharon (Gladiolus italicus or G. atroviolaceus?)

Rue (Ruta chalepensis)

Rush (Juncus maritimus or J. arabicus)

Saffron (Crocus sativus)

Sorghum (Sorghum vulgare)

Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)

Stone pine (Pinus pinaea)

Styrax (Styrax officinalis)

Sycomore fig (Ficus sycomorus) Sycomore Fig

Tamarix (Tamarix aphylla)

Tares (Cephalaria syriaca or possibly Lolium temulentum) Tares

Terebinth (Pistacia atlantica and P. palaestina) Terebinth or pistacia

Thistle (Various species)

Thorn (Sarcopoterium spinosum) Thorn

Thyine wood (Tetraclinis articulata? or possibly sandalwood, Santalum album)

Tumbleweed (Gundelia tournefortii)

Walnut (Juglans regia)

Wheat (Triticum aestivum Bread, bricks, and beer-Wheat products
and T. durum) Roasted green wheat

Willow (Salix alba and perhaps others)

Wormwood (Artemisia herba-alba or Papaver somniferum)

Yeast (Saccharomyces cerivisae) Yeast and leaven

All this information and more can be found at Old Dominion University’s Bible Plants Site.

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