“Fungus coccineus Melitensis Typhoides”,
from Paolo Boccone, Icones & Descriptiones rariarum plantarum Siciliae, Melitae, Galliae, & Italiae (1674)

A present journey to Malta took me to the Dwejra on the enticing island of Gozo, off the coast of which lies the small islet of Fungus Rock. The island is named after the unusual “Malta Fungus” (actually a flowering plant) that grows on the best of this rock and was as quickly as thought to personal medicinal properties. The Knights Hospitallers exhibit at the earlier Sacra Infermeria in Valletta explains that the Knights (additionally referred to as the Knights of St. John), who dominated Malta from 1530 to 1798, so prized the plant that they normally gave presents of it to kings, noblemen, and distinguished company.

Assortment was solely allowed 15 days after the feast of St. John in Would possibly, this allowed the plant to flower and propagate. The rising demand on this restricted plant led to concern on its doable extinction. Grand Grasp Pinto decreed the Rock out of bounds in 1746; trespassers risked a three-year spell as oarsmen on the Knights’ galleys. He posted a eternal guard there and even constructed a precarious cable-car basket from the rock to the mainland and as well as ordered the perimeters smoothed to remove handholds. As of late, Fungus Rock is a nature reserve and the unusual plant stays to be protected by Maltese laws.

Fungus Rock at Dwejra, Gozo (G. Mannaerts)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *