Description & Remarks
During field investigations in the north of Israel a species, new to Science, of Orobanche sect. Trionychon Wallr. was found. Plant material was examined in the framework of the ongoing revisions of the genus Orobanche in the Mediterranean region. A total of 16 species of Orobanchaceae occur in Israel: 3 of Cistanche and 14 of Orobanche.
Orobanche cohenii, the new species, grows on Mount Hermon on rocky-stony soil, on tragacanth vegetation with Astragalus cruentiflorus (dominant), Anthemis pauciloba, Biebersteinia multifida, Galium incanum, Heracleum humile, Siebera nana, Silene odontopetala at 2,200 m a.s.l. on a west-facing slope. This species belongs to Orobanche sect. Trionychon Wallr. as indicated by the occurrence of two bracteoles on the calyx sides. It has some similarities with O. astragali Mouterde, described from Lebanon in similar habitats, but differs from it mainly by the shorter corolla with the stamens inserted closer to its base. It differs from O. daninii, O. aegyptiaca and O. muteli mainly by shape of the corolla; strictly tubular. The occurrence of 5 teeth in the calyx is also noted as a not too common feature.
This new species, from inland Israel, adds to the uniqueness of the flora of Mt Hermon, which is already notable for its high rate of endemism.
Simon S. Cohen