ID please

Requests about identification of wild plants in Malta and Gozo. (Please include precise details and pictures to help the experts in their ID process)

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mefunx
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ID please

Post by mefunx » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:05 pm

This plant has an intense, spicy-sweet smell, I remember the smell from my childhood days (I've spent many summers on Malta with my parents) - now it seems to be not as ubiquitous anymore, but maybe it's just my perception as a grown-up.

I am sure I am embarrassing myself with this question, for sure the answer is obvious, but since botany is not my strong suit (yet), and I don't even have flowers or their colour to help me ID the plant, I would really appreciate your help.

Here are two photos I took on my way from Xagħra to Ramla Bay, some meters after passing Calypso Cave (36°03'37.6"N 14°16'50.3"E), late last month (click for bigger version):

Image
Image

Thank you a lot!

RB
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Post by RB » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:09 pm


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Post by mefunx » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:26 pm

Great! Thank you a lot, RB!

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Post by RB » Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:26 pm

Hi MWP, just wondering, is the OP mefunx a non registered guest?

(I need to add I don't have any problem at all with the OP!)

His username is not clickable so I suspect as much. In fact before answering I thought he had deregistered himself and may not even view my reply.

Just asking if perhaps by some accident you have allowed guests rather than only registered persons to post messages, which obviously is a bad idea for the prevention of spam.

RB

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Post by mefunx » Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:41 pm

Hi RB,

maybe I can answer this myself. I’ve asked to be registered by writing an e-mail, following the instructions given on the page of the registration form (which is currently deactivated):

"Due to the amount of unwanted spam, registration is at the moment performed through direct emailing to the Administrator. In the email please write your name, your nick (to be used in this forum) and your regular email address. An account will be created for you and then you can change the password later."

Here's my profile:
http://maltawildplants.com/forum/profil ... file&u=381

Mefunx

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Post by IL-PINE » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:54 am

Dont worry youre welcome mefunx!

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Post by IL-PINE » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:55 am

And yes dittrichia is still a very common plant

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Post by mefunx » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:17 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome, IL-PINE!

This website and forum is a treasure chest, so much to learn.

Over the last years I’ve got interested in the art of perfumery, started to read up on it. It seems that quite a few of the plants used in perfumery are growing on Malta, and given my love for the Maltese Islands … it was inevitable that I started to look more into the flora of Malta …

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Post by IL-PINE » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:40 pm

yes that is one of the ironies of Maltese society
there are a lot of aromatic plants growing in the wild, and most of the Maltese ignore them.

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Post by RB » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:10 pm

Love this plant, it reminds me of walking in dry abandoned fields in high Summer, one can smell this plant without even touching it.

No surprise, I have one at home... :lol:

Very extensive root system, needs a large pot, larger than one might think considering what's above ground.

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Post by mefunx » Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:21 pm

Very true - I also noticed that it's not even necessary to rub the plant - it's so intensely aromatic. Like I said, for me it is a new and fascinating field. Fascinating to learn, for example, that the smell of many aromatic plants of the garrigue is just part and consequence of a protection system (against grazing, sun etc.). It's eye-opening.

Regarding the ignorance of most people ... I also find it remarkable, but I am afraid that this is true for all societies, not only the Maltese. ;)

I am afraid Dittrichia viscosa would not survive an Austrian winter (winters got warmer recently, but still ...). So, for me having a plant on my balcony is not an option. But that's OK, I guess every plant has its "home", too. On the other hand - quite to my surprise - I came accross references on the internet that it does actually grow as a neophyt in very few regions of Germany (http://www.blumeninschwaben.de/Zweikeim ... richia.htm, they say it grows in the area of Ludwigshafen am Rhein) ... so maybe the microclimate here at my place, between the vineyards and the river Danube in Vienna, theoretically, might not even be too dissimilar ... (Dittrichia graveolens can be found in Austria)

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Post by RB » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:27 pm

Win some, lose some mefunx - you have a lot more water there, and you can also enjoy certain plants and trees that simply die in the heat of Summer here. Such as holly, chestnut, so many more...

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Post by MWP admin » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:06 pm

Dear all, sorry for my silence. Very interesting topic, thanks for your time. For me nothing beats the aromatic scent of Chiliadenus bocconei, the Maltese Fleabane!
Stephen Mifsud
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