Six new species have joined the Israeli plant collection, planted at the end of April in the desert and heavy soil plots. The desert plot received Crotalaria aegyptiaca, a dwarf shrub from the Legumes family (Faboideae), which flowers in yellow and has green almost leafless stems; Pergularia tomentosa, a poisonous dwarf shrub from the Apocynaceae family (until recently Asclepiadaceae), which protects itself against pests and grazing through the secretion of toxic resin and is known as the main host of the grasshopper Poekilocerus bufonius; the desert nettle (Forsskaolea tenacissima), a chamaephyte from the Urticaceae family, covered with stiff hairs and hook-like prickles, which allow the seeds to disperse  through adhering to animals; and  the common Fagonia (Fagonia mollis), a round dwarf shrub from the Zygophyllaceae family, rather spiny despite its name. Its pink blossom stands out in the desert landscape.
Two additional species of plants were planted in the heavy soil section, both "red" (endangered) species: tumble garlic (Allium schubertii), a geophyte from the Amaryllidaceae family. When its seeds ripen, the plant detaches from the ground, tumbles over a distance and distributes its seeds; and Zohary's woundwort (Stachys zoharyana), an annual endemic to Israel, very rare and which produces attractive purple flowers that appear in the spring. The plant is named after the botanist Michael Zohary who discovered it.

Pergularia tomentosa, Photo: Yuval Sapir

Pergularia tomentosa, Photo: Yuval Sapir

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