December 2017

Summary of Kalanit study tour in the Upper Galilee, the Northern Golan Heights, and the Hermon – December 7, 2017

Avi Shmida – the Department of  Evolution, Systematics and Behavior, and the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram.
Gadi Pollak – Kalanit editorial board,

KeywordsQuercus boissieri, geophytes, Mt. Avital, Crocus, Crocus aleppicus, Crocus cancellatus, Crocus hyemalis, Crocus ochroleucus, Galtonia, Colchicum, Colchicum antilibanoticum, Colchicum szovitsil, Crataegus sinaica, Crataegus pontica, Mann valley, winter bloomers, phenology,  flowering, northern Golan Heights, Dalton pond

The first days of December, after the first rain has fallen, are the days in which the slopes get covered with a green mantle of annual seedlings, and leaf rosettes of perennial herbs.  The flowering of the seasonal Mediterranean vegetative growth is at an ebb, and only a small number of species are in bloom. The beginning of winter is characterized by the flowering of several geophytes, among which the various species of Crocus, to which special attention was devoted during this study tour, are prominent.  Among the geophytes in bloom in the north are also the Mountain Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum montanum), the Lance-leaved Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum lanceolatum), the Common Narcissus (Narcissus tazetta), and the Short-leaved Autumn Crocus (Colchicum szovitsii). Two species of Diplotaxis – the White Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis erucoides) and the Southern Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis viminea), had started to  bloom, as well as the Spring Groundsel (Senacio vernalis). December is the month  in which the  deciduous Rosaceae trees of the northern Golan Heights and the Hermon are in deffoliation and their fruit ripens [he Spiny Hawthorn (Crataegus pontica) and the Sinai Hawthorn  (Crataegus sinaica)]. The Aleppo Oak (Quercus boissieri) was late to shed its leaves, and still carried golden-brown leaves, which it will soon shed.

Full Hebrew version

A new look at species of the annual Saltbush in Israel, following the discovery of a new site of the Twoscale Saltbush

Avi Shmida – the Department of  Evolution, Systematics and Behavior, and the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram.
Oz Golan – The Afeka Academic College of Engineering in Tel-Aviv and the Kalanit circle.
Hava Lahav – The The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and the Kalanit circle.

Keywords: damp habitats, heterocarpy, annuals, Amaranthaceae, Atriplex davisii, Atriplex tatarica, Atriplex prostrata, Atriplex patula, wasteplaces, Chenopodiaceae, introduced xenophyte

In Israel there are four annual species of Atriplex that grow to a height in damp habitats and wastelands, whose geographic distribution is Euro-Siberian, and are inclined to be intrusive. Among them the most common in Israel is the Common Orache  (Atriplex patula).  The article discusses the characteristics, identity and presence in Israel of the taxons:  Triangle Orache (Atriplex prostrata), Davis Orache (Atriplex davisii), Common Orache (Atriplex patula), and Twoscale Saltbush (Atriplex micrantha), several populations of which were discovered in Israel in recent years. In the opinion of the authors Atriplex davisii is a variety of Atriplex patula, and should not be considered an independent species. In additions taxons are mentioned that were accidentally identified and described in Israel.  The diagnostic characteristics for identifying these species in Israel relate to the fruit, the arrangement of the inflorescence and flowers, and the manner in which seeds are dispersed, while the variable shape of the leaves does not constitute a credible sign for definition. A table is presented of all the species of Atriplex mentioned in Israel, with the important diagnostic identification marks  for their definition.

Full Hebrew version

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