This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.


Thursday 2 February 2012

Wildflowers Of Malta – Giant Fennel

Dingli Cliffs (5)


Giant fennel (Ferula communis) is not a true fennel but is so named because it looks very similar to fennel. Giant fennel grows all over the Mediterranean, especially in the more arid areas. Here in Malta it is very common to see giant fennel growing on cliff tops – its bright yellow flowers providing a vivid contrast to the blue of the surrounding sea.

Fawwara 298

The plant flowers between March and early May after which seeds form on the umbels (the umbrella-like flowers). This plant is a perennial and easily grows to heights of 2.5 metres.

Dingli Cliffs (7)

The sight of flowering giant fennel is a sure sign that  spring is on its way. The plant has anti-coagulant properties and can be toxic if ingested in large quantities or over long periods of time. In antiquity it was known as narthex and it is said to be the plant used by Prometheus to steal fire from heaven to give to mankind.

Dingli Cliffs (8)Dingli Cliffs (9)


Photographed at

Dingli Cliffs, March 2010


Fawwara, April 2011


  1. That second photograph is an absolute feast, Loree.

  2. Must be an amazing sight! Love that blue sky, it makes me long for warmer days and Spring. Winter has begun here in Belgium today, we had a large amount of snow and it's very very cold.

  3. The flowers remind me of dill, and I think the Giant Fennel look gorgeous against the ocean!

  4. I have never seen such a giant "fennel" looks beautiful !

  5. love the contrast of the blue and yellow in that second shot, especially (and the little pink wildflowers in the background.)

  6. The color against the blue is fantastic! All these great posts to catch up on!

  7. So beautiful !! The color is magical and the photos are spectacular..such eye candy for me..as i love flowers..what a beautiful setting and gorgeous sceneries!! Bliss!

  8. Hi Loree
    Sorry I've been such a slacker this year.. will need to amend my ways soon.. haha

    Love this fennel.. or fennel look alike.. funny I actually didn't know what fennel looked like till now.. I use the aromatherapy fennel oil almost daily.. so great to put an image to my daily fix..

    I just love your stormy beach shots in last post!! fantastic.. nothing better... the sea and a storm brewing..

    Have a fantastic week and thanks for hanging in there with me during my slackness. haha

    ciao ciao xxx Julie

  9. I'm just back from Malta und want to say thank you for the name of this plant. We saw ist flowering near Blue Grotta and the Dingli Cliffs. It's really beautiful and giant!!

    Greetings from Germany


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