Stinking St. John's Wort, Stinking Tutsan
Extracts made from the
leaves of Hypericum hircinum are used in herbal medicine and have been
found to have anti-microbial effects and to affect heart activity.
Hypericum hircinum grows in in only two
regions in Israel: the Hula Valley (nine sites) and the Upper Galilee (one
site). Is has been definitely found at ten sites in the country, although
according to estimates there are about 12 sites. Most of the sites are located in
the northern Hula Valley – in the sources of the Jordan River from Tel Dan to
HaGoshrim. Tuvia Kushnir first collected the plant from the Dan and Hatsbani
streams in the early 1940s. Most of the later collections and observations are
from the Dan Stream, Nuhela and the HaGoshrim-Tal Nature Reserve area. It is
also found in the Hula Reserve. In the western Upper Galilee, it was observed in
the Betset Stream.
Moist soils and riverbanks.
For the genus: see Hypericum perforatum.
The range of Hypericum hircinum in
the regions and sites in the Hula Valley and the Upper Galilee seems to be
stable over the years, at least until the end of the 1980s. The lack of reports
since then makes it difficult to make an updated assessment of the number of
sites (with the exception of Shir Vered’s late observation from 1998 of a new
site in the Tal Stream).
Most of the H. hircinum sites are located
within nature reserves – the Dan, Nuhela Springs, Hurshat Tal, Snir Stream and
Betset Stream reserves. However, the continued existence of the species at these
sites is contingent on the stability of the water regime and water flow.
In Europe, H. hircinum is not an endangered
species and does not appear in “red lists”. Three sites with thousands of
plants are known from Cyprus, where it is classified as “Vulnerable" (VU) in
the Red Book of the island.
A new survey of
the known Hypericum hircinum sites
should be conducted in order to re-assess the status of the species and monitor
In Europe Hypericum hircinum grows in the UK, Ireland, Holland Germany and France. In the
Mediterranean Basin, it is located in Spain, France, Italy and Greece and in
the Mediterranean islands – the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily,
Crete and Cyprus. In the Middle East it is known from southern Turkey, Syria,
Lebanon, and northern Israel. In the Maghreb countries it is noted from
Hypericum hircinum is tall
shrub of riverbanks and moist soils that grows in the Hula Valley and the Upper
Galilee on a small number of sites. The vulnerability of streams in Israel to desiccation
is the major threat factor. The sites should be re-surveyed and their populations
monitored. H. hircinum is a northern European
species and Israel is located at the southern edge of its range. The species is
not globally endangered.
Current Occupancy Map
|Classification||On the endangered species list|
|Conservation Site||Dan Nature Reserve|
|IUCN category||DD EW EX LC CR EN VU NT|