April 2018

The Small-styled Penny-cress – a plant that grows in the mountainous Hermon

 Avi Shmida,  the Department of Evolution and Econology, and the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram, avi.shmida@gmail.com
Oz Golan, The Kalanit circle, golanoz.me@gmail.com
Shmuel Mazar, the Jewish National Fund northern district shmuelm@kkl.org.il

Keywords: Mt. Hermon, the Lebanon Mountains, Cruciferae, inter-annual plant, Acanthus, Lepidium

The Small-styled Penny-cress (Thlaspi microstylum) is an inter-annual plant that grows in the mountainous belt of the eastern Mediterranean, in south-east Turkey, and in western Syria and Lebanon. Even though it was collected on Mt. Hermon in the beginning of the millennium, and was properly defined, to the present its description in Israel has not been published, nor have pictures of it been taken in Israel. In 2015 large populations were found in the Yif'at area on Mt. Ar'ar during a Kalanit study tour on the Hermon. We publish here a detailed description of the Small-styled Penny-cress and differentiate it from close species of Thlaspi and from the Mediterranean Pepperweed (Lepidium hirtum) which looks very much like it, and is also limited in its distribution to Mt. Ar'ar on the Hermon.

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Eucalyptus survey in Beit Tsaida (Betaiha) Valley

Dvora Shizer, dshizer@gmail.com

Keywords: damp habitats, the Zachi, uncultivated trees, Sea of Galilee, felling of trees, Majrase nature reserve, invasive species, Parkinsonia aculeata

The 45-100 year old River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) trees constitute a significant and important component in the scenery of the open areas of Beit Tsaida (Betaiha) Valley, which is defined as a proposed nature reserve, and constitutes a unique and much loved area for walks. As a result of the massive felling of trees initiated by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, a survey was prepared in the autumn of 2016, which was designed to find out the number of Eucalyptus trees and their distribution in the valley, and of those cut down.  Within the framework of the survey over 1,000 old trees were counted, the diameter of whose trunks was over 50 cm, of which 700 had a trunk diameter of over 1 meter.  Side by side over 1,000 trees were counted, whose trunk diameter was less than 50 cm, which are suspected of being uncultivated trees. Most of the young trees were found in close proximity of old trees. In addition, 837 tree stumps were found, of which 579 had a diameter of over half a meter, and 258 a diameter of less than 50 cm – in other words, twice as many old trees were felled compared to young trees.  Furthermore, it was found that 166 trees had been trimmed and shaped like a pole.  Not a single Eucalyptus wood was found that had grown separately from old woods.  No preference for a damp habitat by old or young Eucalyptus trees was found, and apparently they grow where they were planted. Therefore, there is no justification to view them here as a threat to the natural vegetation.  In addition, according to the pattern of the scattering of the stumps in the area, one cannot identify a safety consideration in the felling of old trees, and the shaping of others as poles.

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The Spotted Deadnettle – a new species for Israel, and on the genus Lamium in Israel and the world

Avi Shmida,  the Kalanit circle, the Department of Evolution and Econology, and the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram, avi.shmida@gmail.com
Shmuel Mazar, the Jewish National Fund shmuelm@kkl.org.il
Oz Golan
,  the Kalanit circle, the Center for Materials Engineering and Processes, Afeka College for Engineering in Tel-Aviv golanoz.me@gmail.com
Miryam Milo,  the Kalanit circle for Israeli plans calinix@bezeqint.net
Hagar Leshner, director of the herbarium collections, and the national nature collections at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.   hagarv@savion.huji.ac.il

Keywords: Banias, Golan Heights, Wiedemannia, Lamium ehrenbergii, Lamium purpureum,  Lamium amlexicaule, Lamium truncatum, George Edward Post, Cleistogamic plants, Lamiaceae  

A new species to Israel of Deadnettle has been found in the Golan Heights and Ya'afuri Valley and the foot of Mt. Hermon – the Spotted Deadnettle (Lamium maculatum). This is a perennial species, which is common in Europe, It has a rhizome, large pink flowers with a hooked corolla tube, and an upper lip that resembles a convex hat.  This species resembles the Large Red Deadnettle (Lamium garganicum) which has a straight corolla tube and an upper lip that is not very convex. The stems of the Spotted Deadnettle are upright and straight while those of the Large Red Deadnettle are sprawling or diagonal. The dots and purple lines on the labellum are attributes of great variance, and consequently they do not serve as good distinguishing attributes between the two species.
The genus Lamium includes species with extensive variability within each species, and it is difficult to define and demarcate its taxonomic units.  The article surveys the important aspects of the characteristics of the genus, and elaborates on the various species of Lamium in Israel, and the characteristics that define and distinguish among them. The Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule) is described from Mt. Hermon, and the appearance of Lamium ehrenbergii on the Hermon, which is close to the Red Deadnettle or Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) is also discussed.

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Summary of the Kalanit study tour in the Upper Galilee – April 26, 2018

Avi Shmida,  the Department of Evolution and Econology, and the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram, avi.shmida@gmail.com
Siko – Kalanit Circle and nature guide  siambe17gmail.com
Gadi Pollak Kalanit editorial board gadpollak@gmail.com

Keywords: Medicago turbinata, the Galilee, Mt. Meron, thicket, Mizpeh Harashim, Admon stream, Sedium hispanicum, Silene vulgaris, annual vegetation, Anthemis hausaknechtii, Ramat Dalton,  Hordeum apontaneum, Trifolium nigrescens

The seasonal winter-spring vegetation was still green at the end of April in the Upper Galilee, and many of the species were in bloom, despite the weeks of dryness that preceded the time of the study tour.  The prominent flowering in this season are of the GraminaeApiaceae and yellow Asateraceae with ligulate flowers only.  The stations of the Hossen crossing and the Admon stream presented a variety of late bloomers. Special and rare species were viewed in the basaltic Dalton ponds, and in the Harashim lookout the vegetation of the moist and thick chaparral of the Upper Galilee heights were observed.

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