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Annual Bellflower
Legousia hybrida

3.2 Vulnerable

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.

Legousia hybrida is an annual plant, hairless, 5-10 cm tall. Its stem is upright and almost completely unbranched. Leaves are sessile, elongated-oval and wavy. The flowers are sessile, concentrated mainly on the upper section of the stem. The lobes of the fruit calyx are upright and straight, less than one cm long (1/4-1/3 of the length of the ovary). The corolla is a pale blueish-purple and sometimes invisible; it is 3-6 mm long (1/3-1/2 the length of the calyx lobes). In the Mitzpe Yair population on the Ma'on Ridge, there are mixed patches of purple and white flowered plants. L. hybrid blooms in April.

Legousia hybrida grows in three areas in Israel: the Upper Galilee, the Lower Galilee, and the Judean Mountains. In the Upper Galilee, it was collected in 1951 on Mount Meron, and in 1990 Yoav Gertman found it again near Mount Hillel. Since then, all attempts to find it in the area have been unsuccessful. In the Lower Galilee, it was found in an isolated site on the banks of Wadi Evlaim, west of Yodfat (Shir Vered, Ofer Cohen and Aviva Rabinovich), where a population of hundreds of specimens was found on the edges of an olive grove as well as in cultivated fields on terra rossa soil that had been cleared of stones. Efforts to find additional populations in the Galilee have been unsuccessful.
In the Judean Mountains, L. hybrida is known only from Jerusalem: it was collected three times (1930, 1942, 1970) inside the city. One of the sites is in the Matsleva Valley a place famous for rare finds. Since the 1970s, the species has not been found in Jerusalem despite attempts specifically directed to this end.
Lately large populations were found in the area of a Ma'on Ridge in the southern Judean Mountains, particularly at Mitspe Ya'ir at an altitude of 900 meters (Oz Golan 2003). These populations grow along the ridge where traditional agriculture is practiced. Hundreds of plants, in dense populations, which remain stable from year to year, were found in this area.

Field edges in alluvial soil and olive groves on terra rossa soil in mountainous areas.

* Legousia hybrida is naturally rare, and the number of its populations and the locations where it is found has always been low. At the same time, its only habitat, the edges of olive groves and alluvial mountain soils, is not rare. There is need of more comprehensive information regarding its ecological requirements and the reasons for its rarity. The populations in Jerusalem were probably obliterated due to building and development.
* Its locations are extremely fragmented and more than 30 kilometers apart.
* L. hybrida population size varies between sites, from a few to hundreds of specimens.
* The species is not protected in nature reserves.

The Legousia hybrida populations at Ma'on Ridge should be monitored for a number of years. Preservation of traditional agriculture in terra rossa and alluvial soils in mountainous areas should be considered. Seeds from the Ma'on Ridge populations should be collected and grown in controlled plots in order to study the ecological requirements of L. hybrida and to preserve a source of seeds. Likewise, efforts should be invested in locating it in other sites in its typical habitat in mountainous regions.

The Mediterranean, Western Europe and Atlantic islands: it grows in all the Mediterranean countries from Spain to Cyprus and Lebanon. It extends into the Canary Islands, Central Europe (as a ruderal plant) and the Caucasus.

Legousia hybrida is a small and extremely rare annual plant, found exclusively on the edges of fields and olive groves in the Galilee and Judea, a habitat in which some of its populations are very small and unstable. Recently it was discovered on the Ma'on Ridge, where there are many populations. Because the flower is concealed and difficult to find it in the field, additional populations could potentially be discovered.

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
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number of observations 0 0 0
in total pixels 0 0 0

ClassificationOn the endangered species list
EcosystemMediterranean and High Semi-Steppe
ChorotypeMediterranean and Euro – Siberian
Conservation SiteMitspe Ya'ir (Ma’on ridge) and Wadi Evlaim near Kaukab in Lower Galilee

Red number
Peripherality N
Threat Definition according to the red book Vulnerable
3 (3) districts
Disjunctiveness: Low
25.0% of protected sites

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