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Fragrant Acinos
Clinopodium graveolens

4.2 Endangered

name of participantsBased on: "The Red Book of Israeli Plants - Threatened Plants in Israel" by Prof. Avi Shmida, Dr. Gadi Pollack and Dr. Ori Fragman-Sapir
Update Time: Jan. 1, 2011, 7:39 a.m.

Acinos rotundifolius is a tiny annual plant, 5-9 cm tall. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem, borne on the clear pedicel that abruptly expands into a broad round or oval blade. The leaf is 10-28 mm long and 5-8 mm wide. The inflorescence has few flowers, arranged in pairs in leaf axils, scattered along the stem (there is no separation between the stem leaves and the inflorescence leaves). The pedicel is slender and shorter than the calyx. The calyx is slender, tubular, 6-8 mm long, arched at its center with a hairy throat and ends in a 5-toothed limb that is a continuation of the calyx, creating a two-lipped structure, with two teeth on the upper lip and three on the lower one. The teeth on the upper lip are lanced and the ones on the lower lip are awl-shaped. The pink corolla is two-lipped and its slender tube is concealed within the calyx. The fruit contains four smooth mericarps and remains inside the calyx when ripe. The leaves have a spicy aroma. A. rotundifolius blooms in early April in the Judean Mountains and in mid-May on Mount Hermon.

Acinos rotundifolius is fairly common in the mountainous zone of the Hermon at an altitude of 1450-2100 m. West of the Jordan River it grows only in the Judean mountains, where it has been found only three times in the 1940s – twice in Jerusalem and once in Gush Etzion. Since then no plants were collected from either Jerusalem or Gush Etzion, despite all efforts made. In 2002, a large population was discovered on the Ma’on Ridge in the southern Judean Mountains. The species is relatively common in the area of Mitspe Ya'ir-Havat Ma'on, and it is gradually spreading north to Bet Hagay and to the Giv’at HaHarsina woodland in Hebron.

Rocky slopes on limestone substrate; is also found on the edges of alluvial land in the area of the central mountain range and watershed in Judea and Hebron.

• Acinos rotundifolius populations found in the Ma’on ridge are all concentrated around the settlement of Mitspe Ya'ir, and endangered because of development plans.
• There is considerable fragmentation between the populations on Mount Hermon and those on the Ma’on ridge
• The species is common on Mount Hermon, in the Mediterranean countries and in the Irano-Turanian region. It is not in globally endangered.
• A. rotundifolius is not protected in a nature reserve (except for Mount Hermon).

At least one area in the Ma’on ridge area should be allocated and declared a traditional agriculture reserve. In the reserve, traditional cultivation methods should be preserved and deep plowing, pesticide spraying and mechanical injury should be proscribed. The site should be monitored.

The plant is common in the west of the Irano-Turanian and Mediterranean regions: from Spain through Greece, Crete and Turkey east to Iran and Central Asia. In the southern Mediterranean: Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Penetrates the Black Sea region. Relatively common in Jordan in the Moab, Edom and Ammon highlands.

Acinos rotundifolius is a miniscule annual plant common on Mt. Hermon and in Jordan, but very rare in western Israel, where it grows only in a single fragmented site on the Ma’on ridge, at the southern edge of its range. It is important to preserve it, although it is not endemic, nor attractive enough to be damaged or picked, because of the biogeographic uniqueness of its distribution and its connection with a traditional agriculture habitat that is rapidly vanishing.

name of participantsBased on: "The Red Book of Israeli Plants - Threatened Plants in Israel" by Prof. Avi Shmida, Dr. Gadi Pollack and Dr. Ori Fragman-Sapir

Current Occupancy Map

Current occupancy map for observations per pixel
1000 squre meter pixel 5000 squre meter pixel 10000 squre meter pixel
number of observations 0 0 0
in total pixels 0 0 0

ClassificationOn the endangered species list
EcosystemHigh Semi-Steppe
ChorotypeIrano – Turanian (Mediterranean)
Conservation SiteMitspe Ya'ir fields, in Ma’on ridge

Red number
Peripherality N
Threat Definition according to the red book Endangered
1 (1) districts
Disjunctiveness: Single site
0.0% of protected sites

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