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Hermon Crocus
Crocus hermoneus

6.8 Critically endangered
CR

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

The Israeli subspecies of Crocus
hermoneus
is endemic only to Samaria in the
Binyamin Mountains, from the area of Ramallah and Bet El up to Nebi Samu’el
north of the Ramot neighborhood in Jerusalem. It grows (as of 1987) in Bet El, the
Bet El IDF base, Judea and Samaria Junction, the outskirts of Qalandya, Giv'on Valley,
the village of
Ǧedira, the village of Alǧib and Nebi Samu’el. In the past (1952-1968) was
probably common in Sanhedriya neighborhood in Jerusalem and was collected there
many times, but has definitely been extinct in Jerusalem since before 1972. The
plant was not found there in the 2000-2001 rare species survey.

Rocky slopes and
sunny scrublands on the mountains at an altitude above 800 meters, mostly on a hard
limestone substrate between rocks, but also on Sarcopoterium scrublands
on
soft
chalk (Bet El army base).

     
In the past Crocus
hermoneus
grew on seven sites in the area between Bet El and Nebi Samu’el.
This area has undergone rapid development in the last twenty years, and at
least some of the populations observed in 1987 disappeared in the years
2000-2004. The population from which the species was first described in the Bet
El area is extinct following extensive construction. The Sanhedria population
in Jerusalem has been completely eradicated.

     
All the
surviving C. hermoneus sites are not located in nature reserves.

     
No thorough
survey has been conducted in the area. There is no information on population
sizes and how many have survived until today.

Crocus sites
in Samaria should be surveyed and mapped to estimate their population sizes.
The population of the Ha'On Peaks has to be investigated – to see whether it
belongs to C. cancellatus or to the C. hermoneus ssp.
palaestinus
. A site in the Bet El -Giv'on Valley area should be declared a
reserve and this endemic subspecies should be monitored and protected in it. 

Crocus hermoneus
is endemic to Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. The Hermon subspecies of Crocus
hermoneus
is endemic to Mount Hermon and the anti-Lebanon mountain range.
It was described from the summit of Mount Hermon (Cohen and Schmida, 1988) and is
found today on the Hermon on rocky slopes and hilltops mainly at altitudes of 1700-2800
meters. In Jordan it grows on the high plateaus of Ammon (= al-Balka) and in
the Moab at altitudes above 800 meters.

Crocus hermoneus
is an endemic geophyte that grows only in the Binyamin area in Samaria.  About half the sites have become extinct
because of construction and for unknown reasons. The subspecies palaestinus
has a southern peripheral distribution of C. hermoneus from Lebanon – a
clue to the geological-evolutionary history of our region. This is a species
that was found for the first time by an Israeli and described to science by an
Israeli scientist.

כהן, ע. ושמידע, א. 1988. צמחים נדירים בישראל – כרכום ארץ-ישראלי. טבע וארץ ל"א 3: 13-15.
Feinbrun, N. and Shmida, A. 1978. A review in the genus Crocus in Israel and neighbng countries. Israel J.of Botany, 26: 237-243.

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


FamilyIridaceae
ClassificationOn the endangered species list
EcosystemMediterranean, Tragacanthic
ChorotypeEastern Mediterranean
Conservation SiteJudea and Samaria Junction near Bet El

Rarity
1
3
6
Vulnerability
0
4
4
Attractiveness
0
2
4
Endemism
0
3
4
Red number
1
6.8
10
PeripheralityN

IUCN category DD EW EX LC CR EN VU NT
DefinitionCritically endangered

1 (1) districts
Disjunctiveness: High
0.0% of protected sites

Other Species

Crocus damascenus ssp.nov.
Crocus aleppicus (coastal populations)
Histrio Iris
Dark-brown Iris, Judean Iris