Description & Remarks
A greyish subshrub, woody at its base, endemic to the Dead Sea Valley, grows in slopes and gravelly washes.
The leaves are small, oval, covered with short dense and depressed to the surface hairs that give a prominent silver-grey look to the plant.
The flowers (about 4 mm across) are white with yellow stain around the throat, and have triangular-pointed petal lobes which are bended and pointed towards the center of the corolla limb. The corolla tube is clearly exerted from the calyx and is hairy outside and inside (the corolla limb is sparsely hairy or smooth). By these it differs from its related vicarious species H. rotundifolium that is widespread elsewhere in the country, its corolla tube is included in the calyx and it has no hairs in the tube inside.
H. bovei is generally similar to H. maris-mortui, except that it is annual, grows in roadsides and on heavy and agricultural soils, its petal lobes point outward.
H. arbainense and H. bacciferum grow in similar habitats in the Dead Sea Valley. The first has big completely yellow flowers that become white, the second has small flowers with rounded petal lobes. Both are dark green and not greyish, and covered with dense erected hairs.
Dar Ben-Natan and Ori Fragman-Sapir, 2019
Translation – Sara Deutch
- Hebrew with Vowels:
- עֹקֶץ-עַקְרַב יַם-הַמֶּלַח