- Edom (V. Rare)
Description & Remarks
The plant was discovered in NW Sinai by the European researcher Barbey and was published in 1882. The plant description was based on a stem that was grazed by camels (hence its name), lacked flowers and fruits but is a good species. Researchers dealing with the flora of Egypt and hence Sinai added information on the plant without seeing it. My first meeting with the plant was in my first position during the Yom Kippour War, near Wadi Giddi. It was in drought fall then and could hardly be determined. In May 1975, after a rather rainy year in N Sinai, full plants of A. camelorum developed near Wadi el Haj. I wrote a short note about the rediscovered plant (Danin, A. 1976c. Astragalus camelorum Barbey, a rediscovered species from the Isthmic Desert (N. Sinai). Israel J. Bot. 24: 214 215). After a few years a doctorant from Berlin, U. Baierle told me that he discovered the plant in the Jordanian Arava Valley, east of Hazeva. When checking his specimen in the herbarium at Berlin, I approved his determination. Practically, there are two Astragalus species in the Middle East, sharing the special indumentum. They have straight hairs, sharp in both their ends, addpressed, and attached to the leaf in the middle part of the hair (hairs medifix). One is Asreagalus amalecitanus which is confined to crevices of smooth-faced hard limestone. Our plant, A. camelorum grows in sandy soils, almost stable. Both species have a hairy fruit disperssed by wind.