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    Posted February 7, 2014 by
    Essen, Germany

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    A 78 year-old Holocaust survivor returns to his birthplace, with the latest horticulture technology in Israeli

    A unique Israeli-developed plant has won a top prize in the world’s biggest horticulture event. The “Basil Tree” isn’t just pretty to look at, according to Hishtil, the Israeli “inventor” of the tree, but practical, too: The bonsai-style mini-tree grows basil perennially, allowing people with herb gardens to have an ongoing supply of the herb, instead of having to replant a new basil seedling each time they use up their supply.

    The tree was developed by grafting basil roots into a miniature bonsai plant. The basil takes root inside the tree, ensuring solid, long-lasting roots and a new basil “crop” comes in every four weeks or so, according to the company. The tree was developed to withstand harsher climates, and is designed for use in North America, Britain, and Europe. With a little tender loving care, it should be able to last for years, Hishtil said.

    Basil is popular in Italian cooking, but growing it can be a hassle, requiring sprouting, transferring into the ground from a seed flowerpot, and regular care to prevent insect infestation. Hishtil sells the Basil Tree as a full-grown plant (30 cm tall). It’s resistant to insects, so no pesticides are needed, and can be kept indoors in the flowerpot it comes in, Hishtil said.

    The mini-tree won the prize for best new horticultural development at the just-completed IPM Horticulture Show in Essen, Germany, beating out dozens of competitors for the prize. Over 1,500 companies showed off their wares to around 57,000 trade visitors from over 100 countries at IPM, which was attended by representatives of some of the largest home and garden stores around the world. This is the first time an Israeli-developed plant has won a prize at the show, which has been held annually for the past 32 years.

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