Days of Palestine

Friday, January 27

Faqqua Iris: Palestine’s national flower

Days of Palestine -

It is that time of the year when Faqqua Iris flowers bloom in the mountainous area from Faqqua to Jalboun in the eastern part of Jenin to shape the land's identity.

The Palestinian government a few years ago announced Faqqua Iris the national flower of Palestine, and it is usually celebrated by the Palestinians during this time of the year.

Activist Ahmad Abu Salama, a resident of Faqqua, told the PIC reporter that for him Faqqua Iris is not just a flower, but an identity and a story of life and land that is being systematically distorted by Israel's increasing settlement construction in the village.

Rare flowers
Abu Salama, like the other residents of the area, celebrates Faqqua Iris flowers every year. He works as a guide for tourists and visitors introducing them to the village, its flowers, and its delightful nature.

Head of Faqqua's village council Barakat al-Omari told the PIC reporter that Faqqua Iris is threatened with extinction, and that the village council and the Ministry of Environmental Affairs are working on some measures to protect it.

"The rare Faqqua Iris flowers grow in an area of no more than 20 kilometers in the lands between Faqqua and Jalboun. The flowers have existed here for thousands of years," al-Omari said.

Israel's escalating settlement activity in the area adversely affects the growth of Faqqua Iris which is already known for its rare nature.

Attractive flower
It has between 5 and 8 leaves that can grow up to 30 cm long and 2 cm wide. The fragrant flowers are 11-16 cm. Each plant grows one peduncle that carries one flower only. That's why it is called the royal flower.

Iris flowers are more than 30 species with multiple colors, including pink, white, purple, blue, violet, yellow, and black. The ones that grow in Faqqua are the most rare.

Palestine has more than 3,000 species of flowers, plants and herbs, many of which are used in medical and nutritional interventions.