The Maltese everlasting
Close-ups of Maltese nature plants around us
The Maltese Everlasting known as is-sempreviva ta’ Għawdex – (Helichrysum melitense) confined to the western cliffs of Gozo, including the Fungus Rock Nature Reserve. It is a shrub of about 20-60cm height, occasionally more, with dense foliage, and obtuse, regularly arcuated leaves, covered by short hairs, giving the plant a characteristic whitish colour.
Its yellow flowers appear between April and June. It has a characteristic curry-like smell typical of many everlasting species.
The Maltese Everlasting is endemic to Gozo and Malta, first described in 1980 from Dwejra (Gozo). The species has a restricted distribution in the Maltese Islands, and is considered among the rarest of the recognised Maltese endemic plant species.
It is possibly extinct from Malta, where it was confined to a single locality in the southwest region. It is legally protected, therefore one should not pick, collect, cut, uproot, destroy or damage this unique plant in any way.