by Stephen Mifsud
   21 Sep 2021      ()
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Matthiola tricuspidata   (Three-horned Stocks)

Matthiola tricuspidata   (BRASSICACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands prior year 2000.

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Profile Date Sep-2006 (last update: 2-Jan-2020)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2-Jan-2020) Matthiola tricuspidata retrieved from on 21-Sep-2021

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Matthiola tricuspidata (L.) R. Brown
Published in Hort. Kew. ed. 2, 4: 120 (1812)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms

Plant Family :

Brassicaceae Juss. (=Cruciferae) (The Mustard or Cress Family)
47 species from the Brassicaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Three-horned Stocks

Maltese name(s) :

Ġiżi tal-baħar

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected at present

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

March – June

Colour of Flowers:


Name Derivation :

Matthiola: "A Genus name given to stocks which is derived from the name of the Italian botanist and physician Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1500 - 1577). Further info : [ link 1] [link 2]". (Latin origin )
tricuspidata: From 'Tri' = three and 'cuspidatus' = stiff pointed end, referring to the characteristic 3-pointed siliqua of this plant. (Latin origin )

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Maritime sands, rarely inland
Preferred habitat in Malta: Along coasts (esp. sandy ones) and sandy bays.
Botanical Description: Annual 7-40 cm. Leaves sinuate-crenate to pinnatisect, the lobes ovate, rounded at the apex. Lower pedicels 2-5 mm in fruit. Sepals 7-11 mm; petals 15-22 mm, purple. Siliqua 25-100 x 2-3 mm, patent or deflexed, cylindrical; stigma-lobes connate to form a third horn, the 3 horns equal, 2-6 mm, triangular, acute.
Chromosome number: 2n=14
Distributional range: Mediterranean region

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? AE(G) Ag Al Bl(M N) Cg Co Cr Ct Cy Ga(F) Gr Hs(S) Ir It Ma Sa Si(M S) Tn Tu(E)

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online


Vienna Virt. Hb.






Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (10 images)
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-0.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-1.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-2.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-3.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-4.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-5.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-6.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-7.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-8.
   Matthiola tricuspidata   -   Image Code: MTHTC-9.

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