The wild grapevine, Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris, grows naturally throughout the northern hemisphere, including the Mediterranean region. Wild grapevines have also been observed sporadically across the southern Levant and are considered a non-native feral plant. Nevertheless, no formal characterization has been conducted for wild grapevines in this region; thus, its taxonomical assignment remains elusive. Previously, we have shown that the wild grapevine populations growing in northern Israel are genetically separated from the feral domesticated forms. This work aimed to comprehensively describe the morphological, anatomical, and ecological traits of wild grapevines naturally thriving in two distinct habitats in Israel. The dioicous nature of the wild grapevine, the flower and pollen morphology, and the characteristic Sylvestris fruit and seed morphology, in addition to the occurrence of the natural germination of seeds in close vicinity of the mother plant, have all led to the conclusion that these plants belong to Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris and should be included in the Flora Palaestina. These findings, combined with the recently published genetic evidence for these populations, significantly advance our understanding of the species’ ecology and the importance of its preservation.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.
- Israeli flora
- Vitis vinifera subsp. sylvestris
- morphological characterization
- wild grapevine species persistence