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Did you know that the garrigue in Dingli Cliffs is now covered by the …Read more
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Flowering plants this month
Mediterranean Thyme (Thymbra capitata, Sagħtar)
Now, we’re spotting the pretty violet flowers of the indigenous aromatic shrub of the Mediterranean Thyme along the garrigue of Dingli Cliffs. Several bees may be seen buzzing through the clusters of thyme flowers, allowing pollination. Although the thyme is common in the garrigue, it has been protected by law since 1932, and it is also listed in the EU’s Habitats Directive.
Wild Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus, Qaqoċċ tax-Xewk)
This thistle-like plant, which flowers between May and June, can be found in garrigue, steppe and disturbed ground. It can grow up to 1m in height. Its violet flower-heads attract numerous pollinating insects, while the spines discourage herbivorous animals. The Wild Artichoke is a wild variant of the cultivated Globe Artichoke.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare, Bużbież)
The sweet scent of the aromatic fennel is unmistakable during these times of the year, while yellow-flowered umbers are visible. The wild fennel thrives in numerous habitats.Wild Fennel seeds are available for sale at The Cliffs Interpretation Centre in small packets, and are ideal to flavour food dishes.
Spineless Caper (Capparis orientalis, Kappar)
The common caper shrub blooms in the late spring to early summer. The white flowers with purple stamens can be seen during the day since the flowers open at dawn and close before sunset. The caper is found growing on cliffs and walls. The deep root system of the caper shrub indicates a form of xerophytic adaptation to drought. Traditionally, the flower buds are collected and pickled in brine such as the local Maltese Caper product that can be bought from THE CLIFFS Interpretation Centre.
Hare’s Tail Grass (Lagurus ovatus, Denb il-Fenek)
This grass is native to the Mediterranean region and it is quite common along Dingli Cliffs, found also in disturbed habitats and abandoned agricultural land. The flower panicle is elongated, soft, hairy and greyish resembling rabbits’ tails. The flowers start appearing from spring.