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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 683: V International Symposium on New Floricultural Crops

EXPLORING ISRAELI FLORA FOR NEW FLORICULTURE CROPS

Author:   A.H. Halevy
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.683.2
Abstract:
Israel and its neighbouring countries in Eastern Mediterranean have been the source of many commercial ornamental plants, especially geophytes. Examples are anemones, ranunculus, cyclamen, hyacinth, Narcissus tazetta. Lilium candidum and several tulips. Our plant introduction project includes also several native plants, which have not been introduced into commercial cultivation yet. The introduction projects include many research stages, starting with the collection of the plants in their native habitat and finalizing when the product is introduced commercially. Many of those plants have a natural short flowering period. It is therefore very important to study the flowering physiology of the plants and develop methods for their flowering control. Some beautiful flowers such as Oncocyclus irises have very short longevity, so it is important to concentrate on their senescence physiology and develop methods to extend their life span. With woody plants the main problem is developing a suitable propagation method. Among the native plants now in the process of domestication are plants of the following groups: Geophytes: Oncocyclus irises, Uriginea maritima, Scilla hyacinthoides, Asphodelus ramosus and several Alium species. Herbaceous annuals and perennials: Lupinus pilosus; Eremostachys laciniata, Helichyrsum sanguineum and Aerva javanica. Woody plants: Viburnum tinus. Several native woody plants are being developed as ornamental pot plants e.g. olive, fig, pistacias and oaks.

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