Kalanit – March 2015

Israel Plant Magazine
March 2015

Invasion of the Bermuda Buttercup in natural habitats: has the enhanced invasion stage begun?

Jean-Marc Dufour-Dror imdd@netvision.net.il

Keywords: alien plants, invasive plants, oxalidaceae, geophyte

The Bermuda Buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae ) is a veteran alien species in Israel, and until recently was known exclusively as an invasive species in gardens, olive orchards and orange groves. New observations in Israel, up-to-date reports from Mediterranean countries, and new data regarding the biology of this species raise concern that a change has taken place in recent years in the invasion pattern of this geophyte in natural habitats in the Mediterranean region and Israel.

Full Hebrew version

Eastern Marsh Helleborine – a division into two new sub-species

Asaf Shifman, expert of Israeli orchids, Moshav Merhavia, 19105  shmir@gmail.com

Keywords: Irano-Turanian, Tal National Park, Mediterranean, Sapir Center, Saharo-Arabian, Sudanian, Orchidaceae. Ein Gedi, Kane springs

The Eastern Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis veratrifolia) consists of two types: one northern and one southern (Feinbrun, 1986; Dafni and others, 1986; Shifman, 2006; Delforge, 1993;  Kreutz, 2014). The northern type is limited in its distribution to two phytogeographical areas:  the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Irano-Turanian region. In Israel it is known in the Tal National Park, and abroad in Cyprus, Turkey the southern Caucasus, Iran and Afghanistan. It is represented in the lectotype from the Alborz Mountains in Iran, that was examined by the Geneva herbarium. The southern type is limited to tropical habitats in the Saharo-Arabian and Sudanian region, and specimens were collected in the Arugot stream in Ein Gedi, Einot Kanah near the Dead Sea, the Sapir Cener in the Arava, the Sinai Peninsula, and Wadi Ibn Hammad in Jordan.  Exceptionally, the southern type is also to be found in Episkopi in south-eastern Cyprus.  In the southern type the flower's perianth, the labellum, the ovary, and the stalk are larger than of the northern type.  The outer perianth of the northern type is also more colorful. In addition, there is a difference in the flowering times: the northern type blooms from May to August, and the southern type blooms until April-May. There is also a difference in the length of flowering of each flower: in the southern type a single flower blooms for on average 20 days, compared to six average blooming days for the northern type. In light of the differences between the two types, there appear to be two sub-species in the species Epipactis veratrifolia, which were described for the first time this year (Shifman, 2014).  There is the northern type Epipactis veratirifolia subsp. veratrifolia, and the southern type Epipactis veratirifolia subsp oaseana, which grows in oases, under suitable hydric conditions.

Full Hebrew version

The Jordan Valley and the Samaria transition belt – summary of the Kalanit study tour

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
Mimi Ron  and Gadi Pollak participated in the preparation of the sammary.  Photographs: Erga Aloni, Lior Almagor, Gadi Pollak

Keywords: Rift valley, traditional agriculture, Dead Sea, Malha, Ma'ale Efraim, Temarim Wadi, plants of Israel, desert, flowering

The rain season 2014-2015 was relatively rainy, which was exceptionally favorable for the vegetative growth and flowering. The massive snow and rain storm which occurred in the second half of February 2015 brought bountiful rain throughout southern Israel, and enraptured the desert vegetation to a festival of flowering in March, including the Dead Sea area, the Jordan Valley Rift and the Samaria desert.

Stations of the study tour:

  1. The Temarim Wadi on the Dead Sea beach, altitude: -357 – -312 m below sea level. 
  1. The Wadi Malha swamp north of Uja, altitude: -304 below sea level. 
  1. Ma'ale Efraim, opposite the industrial zone, altitude: 59 m. 
  1. The Samaria Iris (Iris lortetii var. samariae) near the Migdalim junction on the Allon road, altitude: 566 m. 
  1. Kida transition zone at the foot of the settlements Adei-Ad and Kida, altitude: 733 m. 
  1. Dry farming near the settlement of Rimonim on the Allon road, altitude: 673 m.

Full Hebrew version

On the genus Hypecoum in Israel, and the mechanism of the secondary pollen display in plants

Avi Shmida, the Department of  Evolution and Behavior, and the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram.  avi.shmida@gmail.com
Oz Golan, The Center for Materials Engineering and Processes, Afeka College for Engineering in Tel-Aviv. golanoz.me@gmail.com
Rivka Kohn, Efrat, Kalanit circle, rebeccakohn@gmail.com

Keywords: flowering,  pollination: adaptation, benzodiazepines, gynoecium, diploid, taxons, chromosomes, pollinators, monoterpenes, vicarious species, loment, bilateral symmetry, radial symmetry, sesquiterpene,  Mnemozilla,  protandry,  plants of Israel, convergence, Ketones

As a result of the finding of the Aegyptian Horned Cumin (Hypecoum aegyptiacum) in the White Acacia (Faidherbia albida) nature preserve near Ashdod, which is mentioned in the Red Book of endangered plants in Israel as an extinct species, we praise its wonders, and summarize the studies of the Swedish Botanist Åslög Dahl, who wrote about the genus Hypecoum.  The Hypecoum is now in bloom, and we call upon all lovers of plants to observe the flowers, and solve the riddle of their pollination, and structure. The Hypecoum serves as an example for a special phenomenon in plants – the secondary display of pollen in flowersWhy do flowers transfer their pollen to other organs of the flower, from whence they are collected by pollinators?  This phenomenon is common in tropical families and in Australia, is rare in the temperate zone, and is known in the Asteraceae and the Campanulaceae families.  In the  Hypecoum there is a special form of secondary pollen display in the flower.

Full Hebrew version

Astragalus "Rimonim" – a new species for Israel? 

Avi Shmida, the Department of  Evolution, and Behavior, and the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram.  avi.shmida@gmail.com
Shir Vered
, the kalanit circle for Israeli plants  shir20@gmail.com

Keywords: news and findings, articles and reports, Samaria, transition zone, new species, allopatric speciation, endemic plants,  Astragalus macrocarpus, Astragalus aleppicus, plants of Israel

In the area of the Rimonim junction on the Allon road, in dry agriculture wheat fields in the Samarian transition zone, a population of an Astragalus species from the section of the Large-fruited Milk-vetch  (Astragalus macrocarpus) was found, which does not correspond to the definition of the two species of Astragalus from this groups that grow in Israel. The Rimonim Astragalus has thick and round fruit, which resembles the fruit of the Large-fruited Milk-vetch, but the color of the flower is whitish, and the outside of the fruit is furry, as in the case of the Aleppo Milk-vetch (Astragalus aleppicus). A serious effort to define the species, and a study of the group of Milk-vetches to which it belongs, reveals a good deal of information about the nature, the biogeography, and evolutionary mechanisms of the Israeli and Mediterranean flora. We are apparently facing a new endemic plant for science and Israel, which for the time being has only been found in a single site.

Full Hebrew version

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