June 2018

The Galilee Lizard Orchid is a species endemic to Israel, which is different to the Goat-like Himantoglossum

Asaf Shifman, Moshav Merhavia, asafshifman@gmail.com

Keywords: spur, Upper Galilee, Mt. Hermon, Orchidaceae, cheating in pollination, labellum

The Galilee Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum galilaeum) belongs to the Orchidaceae family, which is the largest and most developed among the flowered plant families, with around 800 genera and close to 30,000 species. The best known among these are the tropical orchids, many of which serve as ornamental flowers. Following the discovery of the Galilee Lizard Orchid on Mt. Hermon, an extended description of the species that grows in Israel is presented, and the fact that it is a separate species to the Goat-like Himantoglossum (Himantoglossum caprinum).  Until recently it was customary to include the Galilee Lizard Orchid in this species, but an up-to-date study suggests that the Galilee Lizard Orchid is an endemic species, that apparently grew also in Jabel Baruch in southern Lebanon, and near As-Salt in Jordan.  The item that was found on Mt. Hermon belongs to this endemic species.  Its endemic status, and its southern-most location in the genus Himantoglossum, increases its biogeographic importance, and the importance of its preservation.

Full Hebrew version

Solenopsis laurentia  – a new episodic plant in Israel 

Shir Vered, Kalanit circle for Israeli plants, shir20@gmail.com
Avi Shmida, Kalanit circle for Israeli plants,  avi.shmida@gmail.com

Keywords: Sergeants Forest. Solenopsis,  alien species, rare species, invasive species, Coastal Plain, Campanulaceae, episodic plant, Mediterranean flora

Solenopsis laurentia from the Campanulaceae family, was found in the Sergeants Forest in Netanya in 2011. The population on the site survived until 2013, and since then has disappeared. All the efforts of nature lovers to find the species again since 2013 have failed.  Consequently we believe today that it was an episodic settlement of an alien plant, which is common in western Mediterranean countries, and rare in Lebanon and Cyprus.  The plant has many tiny seeds, and it apparently reached the Coastal Plain in mud that stuck to the feet of migrating birds.  The original version of the article was written in 2011 when the population was discovered, and we assumed that we were confronted with a new red species to the Coastal Plain, and a new species of Campanula to Israel.  The publication of the article was delayed due to the  wish to check and verify the accuracy of the taxon's definition, which turned out to belong to a different genus of the Campanulaceae family – Solenopsis.

Full Hebrew version

Summary of Kalanit study tour to aquatic habitats in the Hulah Vallay, June 7, 2019

Avi Shmida,  Department of Ecology and Evolution and the Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at Givat Ram. avi.shmida@gmail.com
Mimi Ron, The Open Landscape Institute,  the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel-Aviv University, and the Kalanit Circle.  mimiron47@gmail.com
Gadi Pollak Kalanit editorial gadpollak@gmail.com

Keywords: Hula Lake, Banias, Cyperus, Cyperus papyrus, Cyperaceae, Fraxinus syriaca, Nymphaea alba, Typha, Arundo, Dan Valley, Upper Jordan Valley, Salix acmophylla,  swamp vegetation,  aquatic vegetation, hydrophytes

In the Hula and Dan valleys there are numerous aquatic habitats, where many of Israel's aquatic plants that survived after the Hula lake was drained, and other human influences, grow.  In the beginning of the summer season the aquatic habitats experience the peak of the vegetative growth in them, parallel with the rise in temperatures.  In this season many of the plant species are at the peak of their flowering, at a time when in other rain-dependent habitats the plants are in the stage of the ripening of the fruit and seed distribution, and the annual flora have dried up and wilted.  The stations during the study group presented a variety of aquatic  plants, in accordance with their spatial location in relation to the aquatic habitat.  Emphasis was placed on the study of the many aquatic plants that are members of the Cyperaceae family. The botanical garden at Agamon Hula includes an impressive presentation of Israeli aquatic plants, which enables the biological and ecological study of many of the rare and special plants  of this ecological group.

Full Hebrew version


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