Species of planted trees in Kalkara

maltese   L-Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara bl-għajnuna tal-organizzazzjoni volontarja Saġġar, nhar is-Sibt 30 ta’ Novembru 2019 ħadet ħsieb li jitħawlu 75 siġra indiġena Maltija f’inħawi differenti tal-Kalkara. Il-ħidma wara din l-inizjattiva bdiet diversi xhur ilu meta l-Assoċjazzjoni uriet il-ħsieb li jitħawlu siġar f’żoni b’ħamrija li kienu vojta. L-organizzazzjoni Saġġar, li preżentement qegħdha tikkordina proġett nazzjonali ta’ din ix-xorta, mal-ewwel laqgħet dan l-appell u mhux biss offriet l-għajnuna meħtieġa, iżda ukoll is-siġar kollha neċessarji.

english  Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara in conjunction with the voluntary organization Saġġar, on Saturday 30 November planted 75 native Maltese trees in different areas of Kalkara. The preparatory undertakings for this initiative started several months ago when the Association demonstrated its intent to plant trees in areas with soil which were currently empty. The Saġġar organization, which presently is coordinating a national project of this kind, immediately welcomed this appeal and not only offered the necessary assistance, but also granted the necessary trees.

Extract by Claude Ebejer, Saġġar  

Vitex agnus castus, Chaste tree (Sigriet il-Virgi)
Max Height: 6 meters (Evergreen nano-phaneropyte)
Bloom: May-September (summer)
Flower: Blue violet
Natural Habitat: Marshlands and riparian habitats
Status: Rare

Vitex agnus castus L. 1753 also called a Chaste tree and Sigriet il-Virgi, is native to the Meditteranean region and indigenous to the Maltese Islands. It inhabits marshlands and riparian habitats. It’s maximum height is of 6 meters, hence considered a nano-phanerophyte. A deciduous tree which is particularly pollinated by insects in Summer as it flowers from May till September, producing blue violet flowers. Its latin etymological meaning is synonymous to the word ‘chaste’, so much so that the seed has an anaphrodisiac effect (reduces sexual drive) if eaten.

Rhamnus alaternus, Mediterranean Buckthron (Alaternu)
Max Height: more than 10 meters (Evergreen macro-phaneropyte)
Bloom: June-March
Flower: Inconspicous
Natural Habitat: Garigue, maquis and rubble walls.
Status: Scarce

Rhamnus alaternus L. 1753 also called Meditteranean Buckthorn and Alaternu is native to the Meditteranean region and indigenous to the Maltese Islands. It inhabits garigue and maquis habitats. It is an evergreen tree with a maximum height which can be well over 10 meters, grows at a very fast rate and flowers from June till March with inconspicuous flowers. Contains alternate oval lanceolate leaves which are leathery and shiny to reflect light , heat and to decrease evapotranspiration rates.

Tamarix africana, African tamarisk (Bruka)
Max Height: more than 10 meters (Evergreen macro-phaneropyte)
Bloom: Janurary-March
Flower: White pink
Natural Habitat: Marshland and coastal
Status: Scarse

Tamarix africana Poir 1789 also known as an African Tamarisk and a Bruka in Maltese, is native to Eurasia, the dry areas of Africa and indigenous to the Maltese Islands. It inhabits marshlands and coastal habitats. It is an evergreen macrophanerophyte (more than 10 meters in height) and flowers from January to March with white pink flowers on papilose bracts. Characterised by a slender branch with scale like leaves which overlap along the stem. Tamarisks tend to reach salt water from the deep groundwater by their long tap roots and excrete the salt through their leaves.

Laurus nobilis, Bay Leaf, (Siġra tar-Rand)
Max Height: more than 10 meters (Evergreen macro-phaneropyte)
Bloom: February – April
Flower: White
Natural Habitat: Damp rocks, ravines, old walls and maquis
Status: Scarse

Laurus nobilis L. 1753 also known as a Bay Leaf and Siġra tar-Rand . Native to the Mediterranean region, North Africa, Middle East, North Europe and Asia. This indigenous inhabits damp rocks, ravines, old walls and maquis habitats. It is an evergreen macrophanerophyte (more than 10 meters in height) which flowers from February till April with white flowers. The bay laurel is characterised by glabrous leaves which have a narrow end and distinct leaf margin , the leaves have an oily green colour and dainty smell due to the presence of essential oil gland trichomes in the leaves which their sole purpose it to reduce evapotranspiration rates.

Myrtus communis, Myrtle (Rihana)
Max Height: more than 10 meters (Evergreen macro-phaneropyte)
Bloom: June-October
Flower: White
Natural Habitat: Slope garigue , garigue and maquis habitats
Status: Rare

Myrtus communis L.1753 also called a Myrtle tree and Rihan, it is native to the Meditteranean region , North Africa, Western Asia , Indian subcontinent and indigenous to the Maltese Islands. It inhabits slope garigue , garigue and maquis habitats. It is an evergreen macrophanerophyte (more than 10 meters in height) which flowers from June till the end of October with white sweet scented flowers which have five petals and many stamens that protrude from the flower. The leathery leaves are shiny and have a strong aromatic smell due to essential oil trichomes in order to reduce evapotranspiration rates.

Tetraclinic articulata, Sandarac gum tree (Għargħar)
Max Height: more than 10 meters (Evergreen macro-phaneropyte)
Bloom: All year round
Flower: Inconspicous
Natural Habitat: Valleys, garigue, cracks in calciferous limestone and maquis habitats
Status: Rare

Tetraclinic articulata (Vahl) Masters. 1892 also called as a Sandarac Gum tree and Għargħar, is native to northwestern Africa, Malta and Cartegna in South East Spain, so as to speak one can say that it is native to the western Mediterranean region. It inhabits valleys, garigue, cracks in calciferous limestone and maquis habitats. The national tree of the Maltese Islands is a slow growing evergreen macrophanerophyte which often has two or more trunks from the base, possess scale like leaves arranged in opposite crossing pairs to avoid water loss. It produces an array of inconspicous flowers all year round and the seeds have a wing to disperse by wind.

Quercus ilex, Holm Oak (Ballut)
Max Height: 30 meters (Evergreen macro-phaneropyte)
Bloom: April-May
Flower: Yellor or Inconspicous
Natural Habitat: Woodland, shallow soil and maquis.
Status: Scarse

Quercus ilex L. 1753 also called Holm Oak and Ballut is native to the Mediterranean region, extending from the West to the East Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East, North of Europe and Russia. It is indigenous to the Maltese Islands. It inhabits woodland since its a forest species, however its a resilient species and can thrive in shallow soils and maquis. It is a slow growing macrophanerophyte which can grow up to 30 meters , with leaves which usually fall after two years. The leaves are dark green at the top of the tree and become lighter in colour at the bottom of the tree to reflect the heat of the sun. Moreover, the leaves contain hairs to reduce evapotranspiration and spines to deter grazers. The tree flowers from April till May with yellow, sometimes inconspicuous flowers.