by Stephen Mifsud
   30 Sep 2020      ()
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Romulea bulbocodium   (Mediterranean sand crocus)

Romulea bulbocodium  (IRIDACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from south east of parts of Sicily including Modica, Cava d'Ispica, Vendicari nature reserve (2010-2017)

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Nomenclature and Basic Information Images
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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Romulea bulbocodium retrieved from on 2020-Sep-30

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Romulea bulbocodium(L.) Sebastiani & Mauri
Published in (L.) Sebastiani & Mauri, Fl. Rom. 17 (1818).

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Crocus bulbocodium L.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Iridaceae Juss. (The Iris Family)
23 species from the Iridaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Mediterranean sand crocus

Maltese name(s) :

Żagħfran tal-Blat kbir

Status for Malta :

Doubtful origin. It is not yet established if this species is native or not)

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very Rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE (bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc.)
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Remarks :

Recorded from Malta only in the late 19th century and never reconfirmed again for more than 100 years. It is thought that it was recorded by mistake although one cannot rule out completely true extinction of a restricted population. While this species does not currently occur in Malta, it is on the other hand, rather frequent in Sicily.

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Exposed rocky ground.

Botanical Description:

Basal leaves 2, 5-30 cm × 0·8-2 mm, curved and procumbent or straight and ascending. Cauline leaves up to 5. Scape 1- to 6-flowered. Flowers very variable in colour; tube and throat usually yellow; segments white to lilac or violet, greenish or with 1-5 dark lines outside. Bract 1-2·1 cm, purplish or with reddish-brown dots, with a very narrow scarious margin. Bracteole equalling the bract but wider, acute, (obtuse when flattened out), scarious, or with a narrow green keel, brownish. Perianth (1-)2-3·5(5·5) cm; tube 3·5-8 mm; segments elliptical to oblong-oblanceolate, usually acute. Filaments hairy below; top of anthers reaching to about the middle of the segments or a little higher. Stigmas usually overtopping the anthers but variable in length

Chromosome number:

2n=34, 36, 42

Distributional range:

Mediterranean region, extending to N.W. Spain and S. Bulgaria

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Albania, Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

AE(G) Ag Al Bu Co Cr Ga Gr Hs IJ It Ju LS Lu Ma Sa Si Tn Tu(A)

Images (11 images)
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-0.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-1.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-2.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-3.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-4.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-5.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-6.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-7.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-8.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-9.
   Romulea bulbocodium   -   Image Code: RMLBU-10.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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