July 2018

Nigella oxyetala: an unknown species of Nigella to Israel found in the southern Golan Heights

Shmuel Mazar – The Kalanit circle. shmuelm@kkkl.org.il
Miriam Milo – The Kalanit circle.
Hagar Leschner – The National Herbarium at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. hagarv@savion.huji.ac.il

Keywords: Nigella oxypetala, Nigella latisecta, Nigella ciliaris, Michael Zohary,  Ranunculaceae

At the end of April, 2018, a population of Nigella of the Ranunculaceae family was found in the southern Golan Heights. This population is different in many of its characteristics from the species of Nigella that were previously known in Israel.  We are inclined to identify it as Nigalla oxypetala (Boiss).  This species is similar to the Nigella ciliaris.  What differentiates these two species is described in detail in the article.   Nigella oxupetala grows in the Levant countries: Turkey and the Caucasus, and it is possible that the population found in the Golan heights is the species' most southern location.

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A new variety to Israel of the Creeping Vervain was found in the eastern Soreq swamp

Dror Melamed. nivnav@012.net.il
Liran Vakil, plant surveyor, assistant to the Gene Bank, Volcani Center, Beit Dagan.
Ofer Hochberg,  Shelef Agricultural Laboratory, Giv'at Brenner. ofer_h@gbrener.org.il.

Keywords: the Soreq swamp, Verbenaceae, variety, appearance, transition form, taxonomic affiliation, synonym, sub-species

A population of Creeping Vervain [Phyla nodiflora (L. Greene)], whose items are sturdy, the joints of whose stems are spacious, and whose inflorescences are large and unusually dense, was found in the western part of the Sorek Wadi.  The difference in the appearance of this population from the other populations of the species, which are to be found all around the country, is very prominent and unique.  The article describes the morphology of this species, and discusses the up-to-date and relevant taxonomy of its appearance in Israel.

Full Hebrew version

How are Hebrew names given to the plants of the Land of Israel.

Uri Rosenberg. agron@netvision.net.il

Keywords:  Alexander Eig, Ayelet Hashahar Hareuveni, Eliahu Sapir, Assaf Harofeh, Ephraim Hareuveni, Michael Zohari, Yisrael Eitan, Analytical Flora,  Mendele Mocher Sfarim, Noga Hareuveni, Immanuel Löw, Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan, Eliezer Factorovsky

The giving of Hebrew names to the plants of the Land of Israel was a deeply significant act, as an expression of the return of the Jews to their fatherland, the settlement of their homeland, and the bequeathing of the renovated Hebrew language, out of a connection to the sources, and the redemption of ancient Hebrew names. The Hebrew names of the plants of the Land of Israel are taken from many sources, layer upon layer: the Bible, the Talmud and the Mishna; the writings of Middle Age,  Enlightenment and Resurrection authors and poets; the innovations of the teachers of biology and Hebrew in the settlements of the First and Second waves of immigration in the Galilee and in Judea; popular names influenced by Arabic; names given by researchers, botanists and other academicians; and above all names given by the Committee of Language and the Academy of the Hebrew Language that followed.  This last layer itself was a multi-staged process, which began with the collection and integration of what existed, and ended with meticulous scientific work, based on botanical principles,  rules of Hebrew spelling and grammar.  In this article I review the cultural-scientific process that began officially in 1913, but in fact much earlier, thanks to several persons who laid down the foundations for it.

Full Hebrew version


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