Flowering

  • Jan1
  • Feb2
  • Mar3
  • Apr4
  • May5
  • Jun6
  • Jul7
  • Aug8
  • Sep9
  • Oct10
  • Nov11
  • Dec12
In Bloom

Distribution

שמשון סגלגל - מפת תפוצה

Geogr. District

Vegetation Units

Description & Remarks

During the rainy winter of 1994-5, truffles were discovered for the first time in association with this species. Truffles are fruiting bodies of fungi which live in symbiosis (known as mycorrhiza) with roots of Helianthemum in this case. Gazelle foot-prints were frequent in the vicinity of Helianthemum shrubs with truffles. Many lines of foot prints ended in small empty holes near or below the shrubs. Two-three holes with the gazelle foot print inside had a truffle deeper than the gazelle reach. The truffles are well known to have a strong typical scent. From my point of view, a circle is closed now: In a good-rainy year the fungi produce fruiting bodies with typical scent. The truffles open the soil crust above them and enable the scent arriving to the gazelle nose. The latter discover the truffles location, dig and eat the rich and easy source of food. The spores with their hard coat are not digested in the gazelle intestine and become dispersed by the dung. A similar situation was carefully studied by the ecologist M.F. Allen (1991) in California. He studied the spore dispersal of other mycorrhitic fungi in California and their dispersal by other mammals. Many people evidently remember the tales of how truffles are searched and collected in European forests being assisted by pigs which find truffles by smelling them. Here the circle of truffles in the Negev touches the truffle circle of the great French chefs famous for their expensive truffle dishes.
No truffles were reported yet from the populations of Helianthemum stipulatum in the coastal plain. It is possible that we deal here with different taxa, although so far no diagnostic morphological differences were discovered between the coastal and desert populations. I found H. stipulatum on granitic soils. The short visit there did not enable a worthy study of tuber productuion by the symbaiotic fungi.

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Family

Additional Names

Hebrew with Vowels:
שִׁמְשׁוֹן סְגַלְגַּל
Synonym (Scientific):
Helianthemum ellipticum (Desf.) Pers.

תכונות וזיהוי

  • הפרחים יושבים, אורך הגביע וההלקט 8-7 מ

    הפרחים יושבים, אורך הגביע וההלקט 8-7 מ"מ. צמחי חולות מיוצבים במישור החוף ובמדבר וסלעי כורכר במישור החוף.

Life form (Raunkiaer):
chamaephyte
Spinescence:
absent
Succulence:
non-succulent
Summer Shedding:
perennating
Petal or tepal color:
yellow
Sexuality and Reproductive Morphology:
Flowers hermaphrodite only
Sporangia or Seed Homogeneity:
Homogeneous seeds-fruits
Flowering Time:
August, April, July, June, May, March
Leaf arrangement:
alternate (one leaf per node), opposite (two leaves per node)
Leaf Type:
entire
Leaf or leaflet margin:
smooth
Stipule:
present
Habitat:
Sand
Chorotype:
Saharo-Arabian
Drought Resistence:
Salt Resistance:
glycophyte
Synanthrop:
obligate natural

Taxonomy

Superdivision:
Spermatophyta
Division:
Angiospermae
Class:
Dicotyledoneae
Family:
Cistaceae
Genus:
Helianthemum