Kalanit – December 2014

Israel Plant Magazine
December 2014


Distinction among recent plants and dry botanical findings in archeological sites in the Dead Sea Valley

Mordechai A. Kislev and Orit Simhoni, the Laboratory for Archeological Botany, the Life Science Faculty, Bar Ilan University. Mordechai.Kislev@biu.ac.il

Keywords: endosperm, Sitophilus granaries, Cordia myxa, Juniperus phoenicea, Quercus caliprinos, Olea europaea, Phagnalon rupestre, Phenix dactylifera,  Carbon 14 dating

In archeological sites parts of animals and plants are discovered side by side with structures and utensils. There is great importance to distinguish between botanical finds, whose age is the same as the site, and those brought to the site by animals, wind and other means. The article deals with questions such as: how did these remains come, what destruction process affected them, and why.

Full Hebrew version

A new site of Sternbergia – the Upper Shilo Stream

Ofra Friedmann, collector of seeds for preservation for the gene bank, the Volcani Institute. ofra.friedmann@gmail.com.
Oz Golan, The Center for Materials Engineering and Processes, Afeka College for Engineering in Tel-Aviv. golanoz.me@gmail.com.
Avi Shmida participated in the writing.

Keywords: Gyophytes,  Samaria, Sternbergia clusiana, cliffs, autumn flowering, Mediterranean plants

In November 2014 a new site of the Large Sternbergia (Sternbergia clusiana) was discovered in the center of Samaria near the settlement of Givat Harel, on a steep slope facing southwards, at a altitude of 680 m. Four thousand and eight hundred Sternbergia flowers were counted.  Seeing the flowering in the midst of the dry herbaceous vegetation is a spectacular sight. This Sternbergia site has great importance, not only because of its beauty and the value of preserving the species, but also due to the fact that this in the first and only spot in which Sternbergias have "crossed" the height of the Samaria ridge to the Western side – to an area which is clearly Mediterranean. To the present we assumed that the distribution of the Sternbergias in the Galilee and Samaria is limited to the transition belt, east of the watershed.  the Large Sternbergia is common in the country in dozens of sites, especially along the Mediterranean transition belt, from the peak of the Hermon, through the Eastern Galilee, the Gilboa, the Samarian transition area, the Judean mountains, and as far as the Negev Highland. In Jordan the Sternbergia can be found all the way south to the border with Saudia Arabia, and grows in Jabel um-Adami, at an altitude of 1800 m.

Full Hebrew version

The annual species of the genus Adonis L. in Israel and abroad

The late Clara Chen

Keywords: Ranunculaceae, systematics, mericarps, red flower

Five species of Adonis grow in Israel, and all are annuals. The processing of the species of the genus was carried out during the 1970s,  and updated the data regarding this genus, which appear in Flora-Palaestina. The definition of the species was carried out in particular on the basis of the characteristics of the mericarps and their size, as well as the size of the flower and the number of chromosomes.

The article was written for Rotem in 1989, but was never published due to the cessation of the publication of the journal.
the late Professor Clara Chen (1924-1998) was a well known expert on plant systematics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and was one of the senior botanists in the second generation of Israeli plant researchers . For many years she headed the National Herbarium of Israeli and Middle Eastern Plants (1969-1997) and trained many students, who are today among the leading plant researchers in Israel.
Prof. Chen specialized in the Lotus, Trigonella, Medicago, Lupinus, and Onobrychis species of the Fabaceae family,  The monograph that she wrote about the Medicago is still recognized as the basic comprehensive study for this important genus. She also studied the mosses of Israel.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Carlo Steinberg, who served, until his death, as the curator of the herbarium in Florence. He was a gifted botanist, with warm feelings for Judaism and Israel. He was a Jew, who was led to Christianity by the vicissitudes of the 1930s. The comprehensive study of the Adonis genus, on which he worked until his sudden death, was never completed.

Full Hebrew version

On the Narrow-leaved Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) in Israel: an occasional species, or a future invasive plant?

Oz Golan, The Center for Materials Engineering and Processes, Afeka College for Engineering in Tel-Aviv. golanoz.me@gmail.com.
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. avi.shmida@gmail.com
Jean-Marc Dufour-Dror participated in the writing, imdd@netvision.net.il

Keywords: lag phase, occasional, Brassicaceae, yellow flower, alien plants

The Narrow-leaved Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) is an herbaceous plant  with large yellow flowers, and erect fruit from the Brassicaceae family, which was known in Israel until recent years only on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, and was considered an occasional foreign species. The plant has been found in the last decade in four additional sites in Israel, and might turn into an invasive plant in mountainous disturbed habitats. We present below a detailed description of the Narrow-leaved Wall-rocket, and would like plant lovers to keep their eyes open, and report additional sites in which this plant might grow.

Full Hebrew version

Flowering in December

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.  avi.shmida@gmail.com
Gadi Pollak, Kalanit editorial, gadpollak@gmail.com

Keywords: geophyte, hystranthuos, synanthous, winter flowering, seasonal plants

December announces the beginning of the winter flowering in our country's vegetation. As in the autumn months so in December there is a very small number of plants that flower. Only 26 species of plants are at the peak of their flowering in this month – this number constitutes around 1% of the total vegetation in the country!  The main reasons for the poor flowering are the paucity of pollinators, and the low temperatures, especially after a dry summer, and a volatile autumn, in which little rain falls (the heavy rainfall of November 014 was an exception). Most of the plants that flower are geophytes (plants with tubors) which store nutrition and water from the previous year, and invest them in winter flowering, when they barely have any competitors. As opposed to the geophytes that flower in September-October, those that flower now are accompanied by young foliage, and in most of them one can observe a rosette of green leaves, which surrounds the base of the inflorescence. Most of the flowering plants are species of the Narcissus, Crocus, Colchicum, Muscari, and Ornithogalum genera.

Full Hebrew version

Changes in the vegetation of a pond southeast of Tel Yitzhak, in 2005-2014

Erga Aloni editor of Kalanit ergaloni@netvision.net.il

Keywords: aerenchyma, aquatic plants, endangered plants, invasive plants, clay, coastal plain, sharon

Kurkar (calcareous sandstone) and Hamra (brown-red loam) are materials in demand for construction  and gardening sites. For years they were quarried in various locations in the coastal plain. In an abandoned quarry in the Sharon, south-east of Tel Yitzhak, an open shaft remained in the gravel, which turned into a puddle, into which riverbank vegetation and aquatic plants entered, together with invasive plants. In the last decade observations were carried out in the location, regarding the dynamics among the species, and changes in the make-up of the vegetation.
Despite the attention given in recent years to the preservation of bodies of water in the Sharon and red loam areas, we did not manage to preserve this pool, with all its wild life and vegetation. Changes that were introduced around reduced the quantity of water, and damaged both the wild life and vegetation. The pool and its environs were taken over by aggressive plants, without any monitoring for the preservation of the endangered species. Protecting the future existence of the pool depends on its containing water, as well monitoring the plants: suppressing the dominant and invasive species, and returning the rare species.

Full Hebrew version

The plant display in the first nature museum in Eretz Israel

Uri Rosenberg agron@nevision.net.il

Keywords: Etinger, pamphlet, window to the past

In 1919 the first nature museum in Eretz Yisrael was founded in Tel Aviv. The museum included collections from the spheres of botany, zoology, mineralogy, and paleontology. The founders of the museum were among the pioneers of the nature sciences in Eretz Yisrael, and the plants exhibited bear witness to the botanical knowledge of those days, the attachment to the Jewish sources, and the achievements in agriculture and afforestation, which started to develop at the time on scientific principles.

Full Hebrew Version

Updates on the distribution of the Meron Garlic (Allium meronense) in Israel

Ori Fragman-Sapir, The Jerusalem Botanical Garden ofragman@013.net

Keywords: Upper Galilee, vicarious species, leaf sheath, endangered species, Allium israeliticum,Allium basalticum

Allium meronense is an endangered species in Israel. The article presents an update regarding the systematic status of the species, and presents new distribution data from Israel.

Full Hebrew version

Kalanit study tour in the Western Galilee

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. .  avi.shmida@gmail.com
Gadi Pollak, Kalanit editorial, gadpollak@gmail.com

Keywords: Western Galilee, Brassicaceae, winter flowering, seasonal plants, Pistacia atlantica,  Acer obtusifolium, Quercus ithaburensis

Following the bountiful rain of November, and the relatively high temperature of the autumn in the Coastal Plain, in the December 2014 study tour we headed for the Galilee Coastal Plain, and the hills of the lower mountains.

The stations of the study tour

  1. The Pistachio hill, north of Ivtin: forest of the Atlantic Pistachio (Pistacia atlantica);
  2. The Sasai ruin, at the entrance to the Zipori stream in Emek Zvulun;
  3. Olive groves near Joulis;
  4. the Manot ruin, near the Avdon junction;
  5. Galilee flower beehives in Manot;
  6. The top of the Sha'al stream, opposite the Hila village

Full Hebrew version

The Many-stemmed Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis viminea)

Miriam Milo, Kalanit study group for plants
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. avi.shmida@gmail.com

Keywords: guild, flowering season, Brassicaceae, cotyledons, obligatory plant, rare plants, valve, seasonal plants, distribution of plants in Israel

The Many-Stemmed Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis viminea) is described in the literature as a rare species. In fact, in Israel it is a fairly common species. The rarity ascribed to it in the Mediterranean region apparently results from the difficulty in defining it: it has a narrow fruit, with a single row of seeds, contrary to other species of Wall-rockets.

Full Hebrew version

The secret of the Beautiful "Malcomia"

Uri Rosenberg agron@netvision.net.il

Keywords: window to the past, Maresia, Malcolmia, Brassicaceae

A fascinating trip in search of the Beautiful "Malcomia" – from Baruch Chizick (1922 to S. Yizhar (1998). From the Crussaders to the Brassicaceae, and from the Malcomia to the Maresia.

Full Hebrew version

The Weakleaf Bur Ragweed (Ambrosia confertiflora) – a foreign invasive plant in Israel

Jean-Marc Dufour-Dror, expert on invasive plants jmdd@netvision.net.il

Keywords: wind pollination, distribution by animals, types of sexuality, Asteraceae, alien plants, invasive plants

The Weakleaf Bur Ragweed (Ambrosia conferitiflora) is an herbaceous, perennial, short-living plant of the Asteraceae family, which has turned into one of the most dangerous invasive plants in Israel today, both to natural habitats and to agriculture.
In nature the Weakleaf Bur Ragweed grows in semi-arid valleys in the southern U.S. and northern Mexico. It was first sighted and identified in Israel in 1990, in the Carmel coastal area. From the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the millennium the plant started to spread along the banks of the Alexander river. The focus of infection was in the Nablus area, into which it was apparently introduced in seed mixes for (animal?) feed that arrived from the U.S. From the Nablus area the invasion began along the Nablus stream, and from there along the banks of the Alexander river. The space in which the plant has spread in recent years spreads from the Jordan Valley Rift to the Mediterranean, and from Ashkelon to Mt. Carmel, and the southern part of the Jezreel Valley. There is concern that the plant will continue to invade, and will take root in the north of the country.

Full Hebrew version

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