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Author Topic: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011  (Read 4648 times)

Oron Peri

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Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« on: July 15, 2011, 06:50:02 PM »
Today was a lucky day...
I got a special permission to visit the higher parts of Mt. Hermon, it is a very sensitive area as it is the point where the  borders of  Israel, Syria and Lebanon meets.
My aim was to find a few rare species of Allium growing in the Alpine belt.
The area visited was at 1950-2100m, where it is still late Spring with many plants still in bloom.

Allium feinbergii is a 'clever species' as it is growing only inside some very thorny cushion plants such as Astragalus.
Allium hermoneum has been given a Species status only a few years ago.
and two tiny marvelous species growing in the meadows where deep snow stays for a long period, Allium rupicola and Allium sannineum.

edit by maggi: split to its own thread
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 08:16:18 PM by Maggi Young »
Tivon, in the lower Galilee, north Israel.
200m.

Oron Peri

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Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 07:11:32 PM »
and some more...
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 03:30:48 PM by Oron Peri »
Tivon, in the lower Galilee, north Israel.
200m.

Maggi Young

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 08:17:21 PM »
Had to give this a new thread, Oron.
It is quite remarkable that you can get these pictures to share with us, thank you!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Arda Takan

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 06:54:07 AM »
Great shots Oron, congratz.
By the way I wonder, those smart plants you are talking about.... I think I know such an allium too. When I was in our house at countryside, I found that allium inside a specific plant.. It has dark purplish flowers. I gathered its bulbs :)
in Eskisehir / Turkey

TheOnionMan

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2011, 02:59:52 PM »
Thank you Oron for treating us to this very special portrait of alpine Allium of Mt. Hermon, some of these delightful species are rarely seen photographically.  This subject has intrigued me for decades; I refer to my photocopy of the Israel Journal of Botany, Vol. 26, No.3, 1977, Allium Species of Mt. Hermon (part) I. Taxonomy, by Fania Kollman and A. Shmida, it has a good botanical key and excellent line drawings, my only reference to a number of species.  Coming from elevations up to 2300 m, with winter snow cover, I envisioned that some of the species might be hardy as compared to the lowland and desert species.

I hope you don't mind if I indulge in some "exploration" of these cool onions in further messages :)

There is a Part 2 of the document I listed above, entitled "Allium species of Mt. Hermon. II. Distribution, Variation, and Polyploidy Correlated with Vertical Zonation", all very interesting stuff.  It is mentioned that A. feinbergii and A. sannineum both "grow on rocky slopes protruding from the spiny cushion shrubs", so it seems more than one allium is a "clever species" to protect itself among spiny cover.

It is rare indeed to find a photo (same could be said of finding the plant in flower I'm sure!) of Allium feinbergii.  I like that you've found the plant growing through a spiny shrub, the classic situation. The first time I viewed a photo of this (and most Israeli onions) is on the online Wildflowers of Israel site... here are two large closeup shots of this allium on that site:
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=3257
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=3258

It is stated "The distribution of the alpine species is largely a function of depth and melt rate of snow banks. Thus A. feinbergii, A.   pseudocalyptratum and A. sannineum grow in places with a long-lasting, deep cover of snow"

Allium feinbergii is a bit reminiscent of Allium sharmsithiae, a rare endemic of central California... I show a photo of this in the latest Summer 2011 NARGS Rock Garden Quarterly that just came out (photo permission by Nhu Nguyen).  It has similar blackish-purple flower coloration and the narrowed tulip-shaped florets.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xerantheum/2368405994/in/photostream/#/photos/xerantheum/2368406056/in/photostream/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xerantheum/2368405994/in/photostream/#/photos/xerantheum/2368405994/in/photostream/lightbox/
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 03:39:20 PM by TheOnionMan »
Mark McDonough
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antennaria at aol.com

TheOnionMan

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2011, 03:18:58 PM »
The second photo of Allium sannineum helps clear up something I've wondered about for a long time, regarding the color of the flowers.  Your photos of this species is a rare treat, I feel like I'm getting to know this species for the first time.

In the "Allium Species of Mt. Hermon" by Kollman & Shmida, the key describes A. sannineum as having flowers that are blue or blue-violet.  The plants are reported as found in spiny cushion shrubs mainly of Onobrychis cornuta, endemic to Mt. Hermon and Lebanon.  In "A Review of Allium section Allium" by Brian Mathew 1996, A. sannineum is described as having blue-violet flowers.

Some photos I've seen, such as your first photo, show a decidedly pinkish-flowered plant.  The two photos on Wildflowers of Israel site show flowers that are a bluish-violet color, more violet than blue:
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=5926
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=5927

But in your second photo, I see a couple flower heads that actually look blue.  Do the flowers age to a blue color as they go by, or is the flower color variable from pinks, violets, and to actual blue colors?  It's a charming little thing regardless... why is this species not in cultivation?

Below is a scan the line drawing of Allium sannineum from "Allium Species of Mt. Hermon" by Kollman & Shmida:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 03:41:40 PM by TheOnionMan »
Mark McDonough
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antennaria at aol.com

Oron Peri

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2011, 05:02:57 PM »
Thanks guys, glad you like it.

Mark,
A. feinbergii grows almost exclusively inside thorny cushions and rarely in crevices or in open ground, but always in the vicinity of a cushion. Usually in rocky slops.
It is an early bloomer, the second [after A. libani]of the many alliums on Mt. Hermon, usually in  April.
This year is an exception as we had a long winter, the early species are still in bloom at the same time with the late summer species.

A. saninneum is the smallest species in the region it grows at the base of deep dolines , where  snow lasts much longer.
Buds start Green- yellow turning pinkish, pink when in full bloom to fade and turn blueish when maturing, infact it reminds a bit A. hierchuntinum [ A. ascalonicum].

A. rupicola seems to be less demanding and can be found in different habitats, dry slops, serpentins, between rocks still it can be found in larger quantities  at the edges of dolines.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 07:38:17 PM by Oron Peri »
Tivon, in the lower Galilee, north Israel.
200m.

Rafa

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 05:24:48 PM »
Thank you Oron!
I love all of them. I grew successfully this year some of these species outdoors.

TheOnionMan

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2011, 05:56:38 PM »
Thank you Oron!
I love all of them. I grew successfully this year some of these species outdoors.

Rafa, which ones did you successfully grow outdoors?
Mark McDonough
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TheOnionMan

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2011, 06:11:12 PM »

A. rupicula seems to be less demanding and can be found in different habitats, dry slops, serpentins, between rocks still it can be found in larger quantities  at the edges of dolines.


As Rafa says, I like them all too! I had to look up what "dolines" are; natural or man-made "sink holes" or depressions.  I suppose plant species that favor a depression want more moisture.  Allium rupicola is another charmer. In Flora of Turkey, it is listed as growing 30-75 cm, but with a comment added "In Lebanon and on Mt. Hermon this species has lower stems (10-20 cm); it grows at higher altitudes and flowers much later (August to October)".

Allium rupicola photos from online Wildflowers of Israel (curiously spelled "rupicula" on that site):
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=9093
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=9094

Line drawing scan, from "Allium Species of Mt. Hermon" by Kollman & Shmida:
Mark McDonough
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Oron Peri

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2011, 03:33:36 PM »
Another species which is not seen often
Allium pseudocalyptratum. growing at 1900-2700m.
Tivon, in the lower Galilee, north Israel.
200m.

TheOnionMan

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2011, 04:25:17 PM »
Another species which is not seen often
Allium pseudocalyptratum. growing at 1900-2700m.

Cool species Oron, and I mean that literally, the color combination as cool as a cucumber; I like the wisp of the dissected stamen cusps squeezing past the lime green florets.  I LIKE it! :)

In Allium Species of Mt. Hermon 1977, its inclusion was a new record for Mt. Hermon, otherwise found in Lebanon and Iraqi Kurdistan.  It is written "displays a cline pattern in height of scapes (from 100 cm - 40 cm) and diameter of umbel (3-4 cm to 1-1/2 cm), both decreasing with rising altitudes" (grows 1650-2800 m).  It is also noted that the original description by Mouterde (1966) describes the anthers as brown, but in the Mt. Hermon species they are yellow.  Reported as growing "solitarily", is that how you find them Oron?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 04:27:18 PM by TheOnionMan »
Mark McDonough
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TheOnionMan

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2011, 04:41:21 PM »
Oron, while we're at it, have you encountered A. sinaiticum before, looks to be a stunning species popping up out of desert sand (Negev hills and Eilat, Aravah).  Not a species of Mt. Hermon, but as it's a species from Israel, I thought this might be a good place to ask the question.

http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=11893
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=11894
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=11895
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=11908
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/picture.asp?ID=11909
Mark McDonough
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antennaria at aol.com

Oron Peri

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 07:46:28 AM »
.  Reported as growing "solitarily", is that how you find them Oron?

Infact it is the only specimen i have found in all that area!!
Tivon, in the lower Galilee, north Israel.
200m.

Oron Peri

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Re: Allium in alpine region of Mt. Hermon 2011
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 07:53:44 AM »
Oron, while we're at it, have you encountered A. sinaiticum before, looks to be a stunning species popping up out of desert sand (Negev hills and Eilat, Aravah).  Not a species of Mt. Hermon, but as it's a species from Israel, I thought this might be a good place to ask the question.

Mark
A. sinaiticum is a rare species in Israel, growing in sand dunes,in extreme desert, therefor it blooms every few years if it is lucky to have few drops of water.
The photos you have shown here are the best ever taken of this species, Mori was very lucky to find them after an unusual flood in the area north of Eilat.
Tivon, in the lower Galilee, north Israel.
200m.

 


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