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Ex-situ conservation of Israel's native geophytes—Source for development of new ornamental crops

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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

A complementary approach of ex-situ conservation of native Israeli geophytes with horticultural potential is presented. Sixty-eight species with ornamental traits were selected out of the 234 geophytes of Israeli flora to be collected and preserved by the Israel Plant Gene Bank (IGB) and the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens (JBG). The target list is categorized into three types of potential horticultural products: garden plants, cut flowers, and flowering pot plants. In addition to their attractiveness as ornamental plants, many of the Israeli wild geophytes are potentially self-maintained crops that can be utilized in water-saving horticultural practices. The new ornamental species might also provide extra value in international markets, as well as for gardening and landscape development in the Mediterranean and semiarid regions. Selected species with ornamental potential are discussed and detailed in five test cases.

Affiliations: 1: Israel Plant Gene Bank, Institute of Plant Science, Agricultural Research Organization ; 2: Department of Ornamental Horticulture, Institute of Plant Science, Agricultural Research Organization ; 3: The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens


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