December 2016

 A new species of Giant Fennel for Israel from the Naftali mountains – is it the Ferula meironensis and are the two identical to Ferula coskunii?

Shmuel Mazar, the Jewish National Fund
edited by Hagar Leschner, Collection Director of the herbarium – the national nature collections at the Hebrew Universityin Jerusalem

Keywords:  Ferula coskunii, Mount Meiron, the Amanos Mountains, Turkey, the Naftali Mountains, Ferula meironensis, Apiaceae, rare plants

In February 2016 an unidentified Giant Fennel was found in the Naftali mountains forest in the eastern Upper Galilee.  Efforts to define it showed a very good compatibility with two species of Giant Fennel: Ferula coskunii, from the Amanos Mountains in Turkey that was declared a new species to science in 2005, and Ferula meironensis – a little known species from the Mount Meiron bloc, the Hermon and Lebanon, which does not appear in the Israeli flora definers, but specimens of it exist in the Jerusalem herbarium.

Full Hebrew version

Summary of Kalanit study tour in the Golan Heights on 21 December, 2016

Avi Shmida,  the Department of Evolution, Systematics and Behavior, the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram, and the Land of Israel Studies at the Kinneret College.
Shmuel Klain – the Hispin Golan Seminary.
Edited by Gadi Pollak – Kalanit Editorial.

Keywords: Pistacia atlantica, geophytes, autumn rains, hemicryptophytes, Stembergia clusiana, Odem forest, Golan forests, Crocus, Colchicum, winter bloomers, autumn bloomers, Golan vegetation, basalt soil

The two major rain waves of December led in the Golan Heights to the development of a green vegetation coverage of herbaceous perennials and annuals. The dominant trees – the Spiny Hawthorn (Crataegus azarolus), the Aleppo Oak (Auercus boissieri) and the Atlantic Pistachio (Pistacia atlantica) – are currently in effoliation. The stations during the tour were situated along the geobotanical transect from the southern to the northern Golan – from the warmish, semi-arid area at a low altitude, to the cold and rainy section of the Golan Heights in the Odem forest. In this season the peak of the flowering of various species of Crocus, that characterize various altitude areas and habitats in the Golan, occur. In bloom were the Lettice Crocus (Crocus cancellatus), the Hermon Crocus (Crocus hermoneus ssp. hermoneus), the Autumn Crocus (Crocus pallasii), the Aleppo Crocus (Crocus aleppicus) , and the Cream Coloured Crocus (Crocus ochroleucus). In addition, the flowering of the Lance-leaved Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum lanceolatum) has  begun.  Autumn geophytes, such as the First-rain Colchicum (Colchicum stevenii), the Checkered Colchicum (Colchicum feinbruniae), and the Large Stembergia (Stembergia clusiana), were observed towards the end of their flowering.

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