March 2018

A new book: The taste of nature – The professional guide for foraging wild edible and medicinal plants in Israel

Erga Aloni, Kalanit editorial,

Keywords:  useful and medicinal plants, plant foraging, edible plants

Recently Avivit Joti Bercovici Boden published her book (in Hebrew) The Taste of Nature, which is intended as a guide for those interested in foraging wild edible and medicinal plants in Israel. Avivit, who is a plant forager herself, encourages those who are interested, and guides them on how to forage plants out in the field.  The book is based on background material and experience which Avivit accumulated in the course of her occupation, and which she passes on to her students.  Its goal is to provide information about plants that are recommended for foraging, for eating and/or medicinal purposes.

Full Hebrew version

Summary of Kalanit study tour in southern Judea and the Ma'on ridge on March 21, 2018

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

Keywords: Acinos rotundifolius. southern Judea, transition belt, Salvia ceratophylla, Nonea philstaea, Viola occulta, Viola pentadactyla, mountanious transition belt, phenology of flowering in Israel, the Ma'on ridge, Trifolium prophetarum

The flora and vegetation of the transition belt in the southern Judea Mountains were studied during this study tour.  The significance of the terms 'transition belt vegetation', 'the sub-transition belt' and 'mountainous transition belt' were demonstrated extensively out in the field, and are discussed in depth in the summary.  An important finding at the Mizpeh Ya'ir station was a new site of the endangered Horn-leaved Sage (Salvia ceratophylla).  The characteristics of this species, and the comparison with close species are given in great detail.  A special discussion is devoted to the Fragrant Acinos (Acinos rotundifolius), and the distinction between it and the Field Basil (Ziziphora capitata), and to the ramifications of the structure of the flowers to understanding the means of pollination and sexuality in several species of Lamiaceae. The Philistine Nonea  (Nonea philstaea) was registered at the Nabi Yakin station, calls for a systematic clarification regarding the difference between itself and the Nonea echioides, and discussion on the significance of the characteristics of the flowers in these species to the biology of reproduction.

Full Hebrew version

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