Thursday, March 21, 2013


This is Loranthus acaciae, הרנוג השיטים, the Acacia Strap flower. It is a perennial plant with a long flowering period, from June till April. This semi parasitic mistletoe lives on various host trees, and sucks from them minerals and water. Its blossoms are very beautiful, bright red with  curly petals and dark green fleshy leaves, standing out in the monochromatic desert where it lives, to be spotted from far away. Its flowers are pollinated mostly by humming birds. The seeds are very sticky and when they stuck to the beaks of the birds, they will try to get rid of them and rub them off on the hosts branches, from there the seeds will sprout, and this is another way of spreading the plant.

This parasite, which is native to Africa and Asia, can be found here in Israel near the Dead Sea in the Judean desert, in the central Negev and in the Eilat region. Those were photographed in the Eilat mountains. Eventually it will kill its host tree - and I guess it will die together with it.

Photographed by Uri Eshkar, near Eilat, two weeks ago.


wanda miller said...


Smultron said...

Hej Yael,
diese Blüte erinnert mich an die Blüte des Gartengeißblattes, das allerdings kein Schmarotzer ist. "Ein Wolf im Schafspelz" :-( .

Gruß aus Schweden im Dauerwinter

Smultron said...

Hej Yael,
diese Blüte erinnert mich an die Blüte des Gartengeißblattes, das allerdings kein Schmarotzer ist.

Liebe Grüße aus dem dauerwinterlichen Schweden

Bob Bushell said...

A beautiful flower Yael.

Hilde said...

What spectacular and beautiful flowers, I have never seen anything like it. Interesting read about it too. Great photos, Yael, thanks for sharing :)

Annuk said...

What an amazing flower, although I feel sorry for the poor "host"...
Have a lovely rest of the week, Yael!
Hugs :)

Irmi said...

Yael, ich bin tief beeindruckt. Eine wunderschöne Pflanze. Ich habe sie vorher nie gesehen. Wie alle Misteln,
geht es den Gastpflanzen früh oder spät an den Kragen.
Danke für die Bilder und den guten Text.
Einen lieben Abendgruss schickt

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

A pity it will kill it's host. There are plants like that one, here--a little purple flowering plant that throws it's seeds when disturbed by an animal or the wind. It grows like wild along the Rhine.

The photos are beautiful, Yael. I love getting to know your country through your blog!

Laura said...

it is amazing how beautiful parasites can be... everything needs to survive somehow. Chag Sameach, almost.

Eva said...

Lovely photos. But whoever said that plants are non-violent?
These blossoms look like shrimps. Any evolutionary plus?

Misfits Vintage said...

It's so beautiful!

Sarah xxx

Lisa said...

beauty & beast is right .. it is a gorgeous flower! that red is delicious!!! thank you for sharing your wonderful world.. would love to see it for myself someday!