Blepharis attenuata, Blepharis ciliaris,
Hebrew: ריסן דק, Arabic: شوك الضب الرقيق

Scientific name:  Blepharis attenuata Napper
Synonym name:  Blepharis ciliaris (sensu Fenbrun-Dothan 1978)
Common name:  Blepharis attenuata
Hebrew name:  ריסן דק
Arabic name:  شوك الضب الرقيق
Family:  Acanthaceae, Acanthus family, קוציציים

Blepharis attenuata, Blepharis ciliaris, ריסן דק , شوك الضب الرقيق, desert

Life form:  Chamaephyte
Spinescence:  Leaves
Stems:  After 6 leaves appeared, the main stem terminated with the first inflorescence of flower buds
Leaves:  Opposite, dissected, dentate or serrate margin
Inflorescence:  Terminal inflorescence, each inflorescence survives about 1 year, and later dries out.
Flowers:  Hermaphrodite, 4 sepals, 2 of them are small and lateral and, of the other 2, there is 1 upper and 1 lower sepal which cover the monolobial blue corolla with darker arteries, rarely white
Fruits / pods:  Hard capsule with 2 seeds
Flowering Period:  May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Habitat:  Batha, Phrygana, Desert
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts, Semi-steppe shrublands
Chorotype:  Irano-Turanian-Saharo-Arabian
Summer shedding:  Perennating

Blepharis attenuata, Blepharis ciliaris, ריסן דק , شوك الضب الرقيق, desert


Derivation of the botanical name:
Blepharis, Greek βλεφαριϛ eyelash, relating to eye-lashes or eye-lids.
attenuata, Latin attenuatus, weak, meagre, reduced.
  • The standard author abbreviation Napper. is used to indicate Napper, Diana Margaret (1930-1972), an English botanist, and agrostologist.
  • The standard author abbreviation Feinbrun-Dothan is used to indicate Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan (1900 – 1995), a Russian-born Israeli botanist, who became part of the academic staff at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Blepharis is an Afro-asiatic genus comprising 129 species, belonging to the family Acanthaceae, widely distributed in arid and semi-arid habitats. These plants exhibit a wide range of pharmacological activities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-ulcer and cytotoxic activities. One of the species include Blepharis attenuata Napper, but has not yet been extensively studied for its medical properties.

The first flowerbuds appear when 6 leaves are formed. Two lateral branches develop from the axis of the upper pair of leaves, beneath the terminal inflorescence. Each of them develop 4 leaves and later on also terminal inflorescence. In addition, 2 branches, 4 leaves, and a terminal inflorescence develop from the axis of the upper pair of leaves, and thus the proces continues. This pattern of growth and inflorescence development is simular in all Blepharis species. The higher the temperature, the shorter the time to flowering.
*Handbook of Flowering, Volume 6, Abraham H. Halevy, CRC Press, 31 Aug 1989.

Blepharis attenuata, Blepharis ciliaris, ריסן דק , شوك الضب الرقيق, desert