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Ramon Majoram
Origanum ramonense

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: Aug. 21, 2023, 4:32 p.m.

Oxystelma esculentum is climbing vine, woody at is base, that sprouts long, thin stems. Some wind themselves around other plants or around their own branches. The young branches are green and covered with thin hairs that shed over time. The stems and leaves contain a milky sap. Leaves are long and narrow, with sharp edges, 7-10 cm long and 0.5 to cm across, with short petioles. O. esculentum flowers in the spring and summer, sometimes until December, depending on the moisture in the root zone. The inflorescences are carried on a joint stalk, with 2-5 flowers arranged in a sparse umbel. The relatively large (1.4-2 cm across) beautiful flowers are characteristic of the family. The short green calyx has oval lobes. The corolla has fused petals with five pinkish triangular lobes with purple veins; at its center is a corona composed of five swollen protuberances. The fruit is a thin follicle 3-5 cm long. Seeds have well-developed tufts of hairs, easily carried over long distances by the wind (up to many kilometers), but only a small part reach suitable habitats in oases.

Grows exclusively in the Negev Highlands at altitudes above 880 meters, between Mount Arikha in the western Negev Highlands, Mitspe Ramon and to Mount Lots in the eastern Mount Ramon.

Rock pockets in limestone and chert, mostly on rock expanses and terraced cliffs. Also in rocky wadi beds in the Negev Highlands in altitudes above 880 m.

• Most of the populations are included in Negev Highlands Reserve. IDF military training exercises and uncontrolled road building threaten the existence of several populations. Although the species is a popular herb, at this point there is no intensive collection that could endanger its populations.
• The distribution pattern is localized as a result of the rocky habitat. Suitable rock pockets are spread throughout the Negev Highlands in groups of patches, tens to hundreds of meters apart, which dictates the patchy distribution of Origanum.
• There is no change in population size.
• Protected in the Negev Highlands reserve.

Should be followed to ensure intensive harvesting of Origanum ramonense for spices and tea does not occur.

A dwarf shrub from the Negev Highlands whose glandular hairs that give off a sharp odor. Its Red status results from its relative rarity, from its endemism in the Negev Highlands and from its potential as a spice plant that could become a target for harvesting. This is one of the unique species in the mountainous desert ecosystem that contain within them the secrets of the climatic history of our region at the end of the Pleistocene and Holocene.

ארבל, א. ודנין, 1998. אטלס כרטא – החי והצומח של ארץ-ישראל. הוצאת כרטא, ירושלים.
Danin,A. 1967, A new Origanum from Israel, Origanum ramonense sp.n. Israel J. of Botany, 16,101-103.

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
EcosystemDesert Mountains
ChorotypeEndemic (Saharo-Arabian)
Conservation SiteLots Cisterns near Mount Ramon, the Negev Highlands

Red number
Peripherality 0
Threat Definition according to the red book Endangered
1 (None) districts
Disjunctiveness: High
76.9% of protected sites

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