try again later
Description & Remarks
A perennial herb with greyish narrow linear lower leaves (an important characteristic). The flowering stems have greyish tight hairs in their lower parts, and are sticky in their upper parts, to 40 cm tall, and from each of their segments emerge 1-2 branches bearing single pending flower. The calyx is not sticky, and has greyish short tight hairs. The corolla is green-white or cream-yellow, open from evening to early morning, rolled up most of daytime. The filaments of the stamens are white, hairy and much exerted from the corolla. The fruit is an erect capsule, slightly exerted from the calyx. The seeds are very small, gently tuberculate.
Related species in Israel are S. longipetala, S. swertiifolia, S. libanotica, and S. italica (belonging to the sections Sclerocalycinae, Lasiostemones and Siphonomrpha which are not very well separated, maybe should be unified). It is easy to distinguish S. marschallii from the others by its habitat, its greyish narrow leaves, and its non-sticky and hairy calyx. S. stenobotrys is another similar species (belongs to another section), occurs in the heights of Mount Hermon in N Israel, and differs from S. marschallii by having smaller and more flowers, swollen calyx that has hairy stems which are not sticky on their upper part.
S. marschallii is an Irano-Turanian species, known from Turkey to the Caucasus, Greece, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, and includes 3-4 subspecies that differ from each other by the shape and size of the lower leaves, the shape of the corolla, the size of the capsule, and the hairiness of the carpophore. The local population belongs to the typical subspecies S.m.subsp.marschallii which occurs in all the species range.
S. marschallii was discovered locally in Upper Nahal Arrugot by Ofra Friedmann and Ohad Binyamini in 2020 and identified by Dar Ben-Natan. It grows in Sarcopoterium spinosum batha 800 m high, only in one location. It is the southern-most population in the world as much as known, and hundred kilometers far from the nearest population in Turkey. The population is small and endangered.
Dar Ben-Natan , July 2021
Translation – Sara Deutch