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Hagar Qim & Mnajdra 
Archaeological Park

 

Malta's Native Flora as found at
The Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Archaeological Park
in the Spring time

 

This is one of four parts dedicated to one of Malta's little known beauty spots; a largely unappreciated strech of land offering a rich selection of our native flora.

my-malta.com is indebted to Steve Borg for this and other works on this site and for championing our natural heritage.

It is recommended that you also visit related articles, such as: The negative impact of Bird Trapping ..., as well as Is-Saggir ta' Wied Ghollieqa, among others by Steve Borg.




Qaqocc tax-Xewk - Wild Artichokes
Qaqocc tax-Xewk - Wild Artichokes



Qaqocc tax-Xewk (Cynara cardunculus), wild artichoke
Perennial, stout and growing up to one metre. Leaves thick and toothed, edged with yellow spines. Flower heads violet-purple. Found on disturbed land, roadsides, clay and garigue. Grows from Portugal to Eastern Turkey, with the exception of Cyprus. Common in Malta.

see also Winter      



Xewk Abjad - Boar thistle
Xewk Abjad - Boar thistle



Xewk Abjad (Galactites tomentosa), boar thistle
Annual, at times growing to one metre, though often less. Leaves pinnately-lobed, toothed with white veins above. Flower heads on Malta remain white, whereas those on the continent turn to purple and lilac, solitary or in branched clusters. Found on dry ground, fallow land and garigue. Flowers between April and July. Not found in the Eastern Mediterranean. Very Common.

see also Winter      



Bezzul il-Baqar - Blue Stonecrop
Bezzul il-Baqar - Blue Stonecrop



Bezzul il-Baqra (Sedum caeruleum), blue stonecrop
Annual, slightly glandular and hairy in its upper parts, much branched, linear leaves, the plant growing only 6-7mm in height. Tinged with red, petals usually 7, stamens usually 14. Common on rocky strips, especially garigue. Ideal terrain are small dried up ponds, which it carpets. Flowers between March and June. Native to Algeria, Tunisia, Malta Corsica, Sicily and Sardinia.

see also Winter      



Habb il-qamh - Field gladiolus
Habb il-qamh - Field gladiolus



Habb il-qamh (Gladiolus italicus), Field gladiolus
Medium to tall perennial. Flowers pinkish-purple, 40-50mm long in a more or less two-sided spike; lower three tepals with pinkish spear-shaped masks. Flowers in springtime, around April until May. Grows in arable land, particularly cereal fields, waysides and on garigue. Present in many Mediterranean countries. Common in Malta.



Leblieb tax-xaghri -  Mallow bindweed
Leblieb tax-xaghri - Mallow bindweed



Leblieb tax-xaghri (Convolvulus althaeoides), Mallow bindweed
Trailing perennial with a slender creeping rootstock, grows on ground level, 1m. Lower leaves heart-shaped to kidney-shaped, upper leaves deeply lobed. Flowers deep pink, 30-50mm. Prefers dry fields, steppe and garigue. Flowers between mid-April and June. Common in Malta.



Leblieb tar-raba’ - Field bindweed
Leblieb tar-raba’ - Field bindweed



Leblieb tar-raba’ (Convolvolus arvensis), Field bindweed
Slightly hairy creeper, up to 2m. Leaves arrow-shaped to oblong, stalked. Flowers white or pink with white strips,15-30mm, solitary or paired, weakly scented. Flowers from April to September. Scrub, fallow land and garigue. Very common in Malta.



Leblieb tal-blat -- Olive-leaved bindweed
Leblieb tal-blat -- Olive-leaved bindweed



Leblieb tal-blat (Convolvulus oleifolius), Olive-leaved bindweed
Subshrub up to 50cm, with thread like to linear leaves. Flowers white or pink between Spring and Autumn. Grows on garigue, especially coastal ones. Restricted to Southern Greece, Cyprus, Crete, Aegean Islands and Malta, its westernmost spread. Frequent. In Crete it is referred to as Convolvulus argyrohammos Greuter.



Halib it-Tajr Kbir - Large Star of Bethlehem
Halib it-Tajr Kbir - Large Star of Bethlehem



Halib it-Tajr Kbir (Ornithogalum arabicum), Large Star of Bethlehem
Stout bulbous perennial with basal leaves. Leaves 7-8, plain green. Flowers white or cream, 30-50mm, with a central violet-black ovary, tepals broad, forming a bowl-shape. Grows in cultivated and fallow tracts and garigue. Portugal, North Africa eastwards to the Balkans and Palestine, not Crete. Flowers in April and May. Was common in Malta, numbers decreased through cutting for commercial reasons. Frequent.



Halib it-Tajr Zghir - Southern Star of Bethlehem
Halib it-Tajr Zghir - Southern Star of Bethlehem



Halib it-Tajr Zghir (Orntihogalum narbonense), Southern Star of Bethlehem
Medium perennial with long pyramidal may-flowered spike of rather small flowers, milky-white, 16-26mm, between 20-50 in all, tepals with a green stripe. Flowers from April to June. Mostly found in steppe and garigue. Widespread in the Mediterranean. Frequent.



Silla tal-blat - Mediterranean kidney vetch
Silla tal-blat - Mediterranean kidney vetch



Silla tal-blat (Anthyllis vulneraria ssp. maura), Mediterranean kidney vetch
Low tufted hairy perennial, Lower leaves with a single leaflet, upper with 7-13, elliptical, calyx 14-17mm. Flowers purple in springtime. Grows on steppe and garigue. Spread from Portugal to North Africa, Italy, Sicily and Malta. Frequent.



Iz-Zebbugija - narrow-leaved germander
Iz-Zebbugija - narrow-leaved germander



Iz-Zebbugija (Teucrium fruticans), narrow-leaved germander
Rather spreading, very branched, woody shrub, to 1m. Leaves oval, untoothed, resembling the olive, hence the Maltese name zebbugija, ‘the olivy one’. Flowers paired, whitish or lilac between January and June, the floral leaves usually smaller and more acute. Grows in maquis, garigue and coastal evergreen thickets. Spread from Portugal to Croatia, not found in the Balearics and Crete. In Malta it was very common in the 1920s and, though a bit less, it is now stil common.



Sigra tal-harir - Wolfbane
Sigra tal-harir - Wolfbane



Sigra tal-harir (Periploca angustifolia), Wolfbane
Small erect shrub, up to 1.5m. Leaves coriaceous, linear and narrow at base, obtuse at apex. Flowers in small corymbs, greenish in the outside, pods resembling horns, seeds furnished with silky pappus, hence its Maltese name, sigra tal-harir, the silk tree. Flowers in Spring and Autumn. Grows in Spain, North Africa, the Canary Islands, Syria, Sicily and Malta. Found on garigue, maquis and coastal cliffs. Was common at Ghar Lapsi, Wied Babu and Wied il-Ghasel, prior to quarrying. Rare in Gozo, numbers in Malta seem to be increasing due to the decrease of grazing. Scarce.

scarse      



Kappara (Capparis orientalis), caper
Kappara - caper



Kappara (Capparis orientalis), caper
Straggling greyish shrub, with pairs of spines at each leaf base. Leaves rounded, untoothed, thick, not spine-tipped. Flowers white with purple sepals, 50-70mm. The flower-bus are the edible capers, hand-picked and pickled. Flowering from May, it grows on maquis, garigue, cliff sides and even fortifications. In Maltese folk tradition, it is believed to improve the liver function, its roots used to treat skin rashes. Emblem of nearby Pantelleria, where it is widely cultivated. Spread through the Mediterranean, it is salt-tolerant. Common in Malta.

culinary



Ghansar ikhal - Sicilian squill
Ghansar ikhal - Sicilian squill



Ghansar ikhal (Scilla sicula), Sicilian squill
Bulbous perennial. Leaves broad and hairy white. Flowers light blue. This species is also known from Sicily and Calabria. Nevertheless this quasi-endemic squill is more common in Malta than elsewhere and could become confined only here. Confused with Scilla peruviana. Grows in maquis and garigue. Scarce.

scarse


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