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Mitnan Thymelaea hirsuta

'Mitnan' (Thymelaea hirsuta) is a perennial evergreen shrub that grows in the Mediterranean coastal plain, the Sinai and various other Saharo-Arabian deserts. It has been used for centuries for rope-making.

In ideal conditions the roots of 'mitnan' (Thymelaea hirsuta) can descend to a depth of about 3.5 m, while the plant may grow to 2 m with an average height of 120 cm. 'Mitnan' produces clusters of yellow flowers at the ends of young twigs from March through July. Its branches are used for making rope by braiding them into a kind of cable.

Most examples of 'mitnan' that we found during our collecting trip to Jordon were growing in the vicinity of the international heritage site of Petra.

As 'mitnan' is dioecious (male and female flowers are borne on separate plants), enough pollinators must be available to secure fruit set and seed formation. Both sexes of these plants produce clusters of yellow flowers at the end of young twigs from March to July.

One concern for the future of this species is that its habitat in Jordon is constantly disturbed by the large number of tourists visiting the site. This could hinder the growth of newly formed seedlings needed to replenish the population.

Fact 1

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