Mediterranean Asparagus (MT: Spraġ) Asparagus aphyllus Seems like the stinging plants often turn out to yield interesting rewards! Encountering the foraging plant of this month may result in some complaints as its spiky leaves get stuck to clothing and often do not let you go.
The stars at night turn our gaze upwards – but at this time of year while walking in the countryside we can enjoy some floral ‘stargazing’ during the day by looking down at the rocky ground.
In January’s newsletter we touched upon the incredible ecological diversity of freshwater rockpools – unfortunately since then a new threat has arisen which jeopardises the future of one of the most important Temporary Freshwater Rockpool sites and archaeologically rich areas in Malta – Tal-Wej – the last open space located between the built up areas of Naxxar and Mosta.
Nettle (MT: Ħurrieq) Urtica spp. Many know the nettle plant more for its painful stinging sensation than for culinary or medicinal reasons. Although it may be difficult to come across nettle tea or nettle soup in local menus, traditionally nettle was used commonly in Malta as a remedy for chillblains.
One of the most striking wild flowers of the Maltese Islands is in bloom around this time of year in rocky areas … but alas it remains to be found only in a handful of places.