Protected -Indigenous trees and plants
We feel that part of our mission is to make students visiting the programme more aware of our islands’ rich flora. Some of our indigenous trees and plants are on the verge of extinction and are therefore protected by law. We have put up a section at the Xewkija Farm in which we have gathered a specimen of many of these trees and wild plants .We stress the importance of protecting them and thus Gozitan students visiting the programme would know which trees and plants are on the danger list.

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Evergreen oak (Holm Oak)
Sigra tal-Ballut
Quercus ilex

This was a very common tree in Maltese woodlands. It is an evergreen tree with serrated leaves, having dark green colour above and a more whitish colour underneath. It can live hundreds of years, producing oval like fruits called acorns.

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White poplar 

Is-Sigra tal-Luq
Populus alba

This tree has become rare in our countryside. It is a very large tree with its characteristic  leaves, dark green above and silvery below. It is a deciduous tree. It grows mainly in valleys. Today it is common in public gardens and along public roads.

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African Tamarisk 

Il-Bruka
Tamarix africana

This is a common tree around our islands, especially near the sea. It tolerates salty water. It has a rough trunk and moist cypress like leaves.

 

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Dwarf fan palm

Il-Gummar
Chamaerops humils

This is the only indigenous palm tree. It is now extinct in the wild but is still being cultivated in public gardens and public roads.

 

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Bay Laurel 

Ir-randa
Laurus nobilis

This tree used to grow in the wild but nowadays  only in public and private gardens. It is an evergreen tree with aromatic leaves. Its leaves are used in cooking and also for medical purposes.

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Araar Tree /Sandarac Gum Tree

L-Gharghar
Tetraclinis Articulata

This is Our National Tree. It is very rare in the wild but is being planted in public gardens. In Europe it is only found in Malta and in one Spanish locality. It produces small cones divided into four segments.

 

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Judas Tree

Sigra ta’ Guda
Cercis siliquastrum

It is still being planted along roads and public gardens but it is extinct in the wild. It blossoms at the end of winter with beautiful pink flowers.

 

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Myrtle 

Rihan
Myrtus communis

This is another rare tree or shrub. It produces lemon-scented flowers. It is only found in public gardens. Ghajn Rihana in Malta and Wied ir-Rihan in Gozo are named after this shrub.

 

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Aleppo Pine

Iz-Znuber
Pinus halepensis

This tall and ever green tree is only found in public gardens and in afforestation projects all over the island. The tree produces both male and female cones. The seeds are contained in the female cone and spread by the wind.

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Date Palm

Sigra tat-Tamar
Phoenix dactylifera

This tree is not common in our islands. It grows in the Middle East and North African regions. It only produces dates in hot climates and is also salt tolerant. It can grow up to 20 mtrs.

 

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White Mulberry

Cawsla
Morus alba

The white Mulberry tree is common in our streets. It can reach a height of 10 m to 18 m. Its leaves are used to feed silkworms. It produces white buries which are edible

 

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Black Mulberry

Sigra Tat-Tut
Morus nigra

This tree has been introduced to the Maltese islands probably by the Phoenicians. It produces black berry-like fruit with a tart-sweet taste. It is a deciduous tree and can grow to up to 9 mtrs. It can produce fruits for hundreds of years. It can be propagated both by seeds and cuttings.

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Stone Pine 

Znuber ta‘ l-Ikel
Pinus pinea

This pine tree is very similar to Aleppo Pine in appearance, but it produces edible nuts in its cones. The nut is contained in a very hard shell. It is rare in our island and can be found in public gardens and along some streets. The cone takes three years to mature after pollination.

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English Oak

Balluta Ingliza
Quercus robur

This is a large deciduous tree reaching a height of 30m to 40m. It is a slow growing tree which prefers sun and a well drained soil. It lives for hundreds of years . It is propagated from the acorns it produces. It has been introduced to our island and is not common.

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Lentisc, Mastic tree

Deru
Pistacia lentiscus

The mastic tree known also as Lentisc is an evergreen shrub or tree , usually low and spreading but it sometimes grows as high as 8m. It is rare and has dark green leaves when mature. In many countries the tree’s resin or mastic is used for chewing gum.

 

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Narrow-leafed Ash

Fraxxnu
Fraximus angustifolia

This tree is rare in our countryside. It is  deciduous and can grow up to 25m. Its flowers are hermaphrodite (They have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by the wind. It prefers alkaline soil which makes it ideal for our maltese soil.

 

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Pomegranate  

Rummiena
Punica granatum

This tree is rather common in our gardens. It is an easy-to-grow tree and prefers a well drained and fertile soil. It produces a delicious fruit full of seeds. It is usually propagated by cuttings in winter.

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Wild Plants
We also have a section of Maltese native /endemic plants,
which we are still putting up.


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Maltese Rock Centaury
Widnet il-Bahar, Malta's National Plant.
Palaeocyanus crassifolius

It is an endemic species and is not common in the wild. It flowers in late Spring and has beautiful pink-violet flowers. Its leaves are smooth and fleshy. It was discovered by A.Naudi and S. Zerafa in 1825 and was originally named Centaura spathulata. Our 50cents coin carries its image.

 

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Maltese Everlasting
Sempreviva t’Ghawdex 
Helichrysum melitense

This plant is endemic to Gozo. It grows in the western part of Gozo, mostly near Dwejra. It has white leaves with beautiful yellow flowers. They keep their colour and shape on drying . Hence the name Sempreviva.

 

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Maltese Hyoseris
Zigland t’Ghawdex
Hyoseris frutescens

This endemic plant is found mainly in Gozo and produce yellow flowers all year round. It has fleshy leaves and grows on rocks near the seaside.

 

 

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Evergreen Honeysuckle
Qarn il-moghza
Lonicera implexa

This is an evergreen plant that grows in maquis all over the island . It flowers in spring and its flowers are  pink . It is still common.

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Southern Dwarf Iris
Bellus
Iris pseudopumila

This is a rare plant that grows in rocky steppes and garigue. It flowers in winter and early Spring and the colour of the flower can differ from one population to another.

 

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Bushy Restharrow
Bruxka ta’ Ghawdex
Ononis natrix

This aromatic shrub is more common in Gozo than in Malta. It flowers in Spring and the yellow flowers are red veined. It is becoming scarce as it is still being collected by bird breeders  for use in their aviary.

 

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Mediterranean Buckthorn
Alaternu  
Rhamnus alaternus

This is a large evergreen shrub that can grow into a small tree. Very small flowers that develop into red and later on black small fruits. Grows in valleys and maquis. It has become scarce in Gozo but more frequent in Malta.

 

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Bean Trefoil Tree

Fula tal-Klieb
Anagyris foetida

This is a perennial shrub with trifoliate leaves . Its flowers are yellow and are followed by small seed pods.

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Shrubby Horsetail
Efedra
Ephedra fragilis

An evergreen shrub with dioecious flowers (flowers are either male or female). It is rare in the wild.

 

 

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African Wolfbane
Sigret il- Harir
Periploca angustifolia

A big shrub with seed pods resembling a pair of horns. When the horn-like pods open they release hundreds of seeds. Seeds have long silky hairs in order to be carried by wind. Grows in garrigue and in maquis.

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Mediterranean Thyme
Saghtar
Thymbra  capitata

This is a dense shrub with very aromatic leaves. It flowers from mid Spring to early Summer. It is found  in garigue but it is still being picked by children for their cribs in  Christmas time.

 

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Maltese Cliff-orache
Bjanka ta’ l-Irdum
Cremnophyton lanfrancoi

This rare endemic shrub has white-green leaves and grows only on cliff sides. It was named after Maltese botanist Edwin Lanfranco.

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Jujube

Zinzel
Ziziphus zizyphus

A decidious tree up to 10m. It is in flower from April to May, and the fruits ripen in September- October.

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