Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/flash90

The Rakeffet (cyclamen) flowers include 23 species of perennials growing from tubers, native to Europe and the Mediterranean Basin east to Iran, with one species in Somalia.

Of all the species I saw on, the one most common in Israel is the one I like the most. It looks frail and intangible, vulnerable, withdrawn. Like a shy child.


Unlike many other flowers who go for bees, the Rakeffet uses ants to transfer its seeds. Is that humble, or what? Very salt of the earth.

The source of the name is Aramaic, Rakafta, which is related to the Arabic word Rakaf – light snow. This could be because the Rakeffet pops out after the early winter rains and—
further north—snow.