Wild Cyclamens Treasure Trove
Wild cyclamens, (Cyclamen persicum) in Hebrew عصا الراعي רקפת מצויה in Arabic, or Persian Cyclamen in English - have a very peculiar scent, subtle and unnoticeable to the unsuspecting nose, but if you do make the effort to bring your nose close enough to their rocky hiding spots (they grow mostly in the crevices of rocks, where they have a nice storage of water and less chances for the wild boars to dig them up) - you will be surprised.
These pink, fluffy and symbolically shy flowers have a dark-leathery, mineral, mossy and almost tar-like (there are lichens here in creeks and forests that smell like tar hence the mossy reference).
It is very rare to see so many of them together like in this photo - so the smell is usually very subtle and only noticeable if you bend over and press your nose to them... Finding this treasure trove of cyclamens in this pine forest, shrouded with this tarry, mineral scent - was an interesting experience to be sure.
Wild cyclamens are a protected species, but it is allowed to pick a few leaves (up to 2) per bulb, and use them for food for personal purpose. They can be stuffed and cooked much like grapevine leaves. Something I must try soon before the leaves are all gone! The leaves have a stunning, reptile-like design, and each bulb produces leaves with its own unique and recognizable pattern. So you can easily tell if you picked enough from a bulb and allow it to grow and produce flowers and more seeds quietly and store more energy for next year.