by Stephen Mifsud
   29 Sep 2020      ()
External Links:

Romulea columnae   (Lesser sand crocus)

Romulea columnae   (IRIDACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

Page Contents + Links

Nomenclature and Basic Information Images
External Links Support and sales
Submit information Website FORUM
Sponsors & Adverts Copyright notes
Iridaceae Index Plant Family Index
This profile is brought to you by one of the website's sponsors.
[read more...]
Profile Date Feb-2005 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Feb-2005) Romulea columnae retrieved from on 2020-Sep-29

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Romulea columnae Sebastiani & Mauri
Published in Sebastiani & Mauri, Fl. Rom. 18 (1818)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Trichonema columnae (Sebast. & Mauri) Rchb.
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) :

Lesser sand crocus, Small-flowered sand crocus

Maltese name(s) :

Żagħfran tal-blat ċar, Żagħfran tal-blat żgħir

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

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:

White or Lilac

Remarks :

In Malta there are 5 taxa of Romulea recorded including one which is alleged to be an endemic. The Romulea species recorded in Malta are :
Romulea melitensis (endemic),
Romulea rollii,
Romulea bulbocodium,
Romulea ramiflora and
Romulea columnae

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

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

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Footpaths, exposed disturbed rocky ground, low or unvegitated garigue, damp rock basins

Botanical Description:

Basal leaves 2; cauline leaves 1-6 ,0.6-1 mm in diameter, fairly short, erect or appressed, or long and slender. Scape 1- to 3-flowered. Pedicels short. Flowers pale lilac to pale violet, with purple veins; throat yellow, occasionally almost white. Bract 0.6-1.3 cm, herbaceous, with a narrow scarious margin, tinged purple or spotted with reddish-brown. Bracteole almost entirely scarious. Perianth 0.9-1.9 cm; tube 2.5-5.5 mm; segments lanceolate or oblanceolate, acute. Anthers reaching about ½ way up the perianth. Stigmas below the top of the anthers. Capsule 0.5-1.1 cm, obovoid-triquetrous to subglobose-triquetrous. Fruiting scape up to 5 cm above ground.

Distributional range:

Mediterranean region and W. Europe, northwards to S.W. England, mainly near the coast.

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

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

the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)

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

AE(G) Ag Az Bl Br Ca Co Cr Cy Ga Gr Hs IJ It Li LS Lu Ma Md Sa Si Tu(A E)

Images (8 images)
   Romulea columnae   -   Image Code: RMLCL-0.
   Romulea columnae   -   Image Code: RMLCL-1.
   Romulea columnae   -   Image Code: RMLCL-2.
   Romulea columnae   -   Image Code: RMLCL-3.
   Romulea columnae   -   Image Code: RMLCL-4.
   Romulea columnae   -   Image Code: RMLCL-5.
   Romulea columnae   -   Image Code: RMLCL-6.
   Romulea columnae   -   Image Code: RMLCL-7.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





Buy Seeds and Docs
Seeds of wild plants for sale for studies, trials, research, or personal use. Note that not all species' seeds can be exported (depending on Maltese regulations and CITES). Availability depends on season. For these reasons you are kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

  Online Purchase (Seeds)
Buy images found in this large collection of Maltese flora. Prices reasonable and rated differently according size and resolution. Please note that all images are copyright of the author. Buying images for your projects will support this website. To buy images please take not of the image code specific for every image (found beneath each individual photo) since this is required when filling the online ordering form.   Online Purchase (Images)
Kindly consider support this website by giving a small donation. This will help to cover some expenses needed to maintain the website and its further development. Please bear in mind how much hard work such a large and up-to-date website about the flora of Malta requires.   Online Donation

Submit further info on this species
Use this form to submit more information on this species or report mistakes in this webpage. If information supplied is taken from a book, journal or website, please provide the corresponding reference or website address. Your email address is only for internal communication. Please report only Maltese locations for plants that indicated as rare or very rare (refer to the Nomenclature section). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, silly typing / grammar errors, misidentifications or taxonomical updates; this will help to improve the website's accuracy. Thanks you! Fill any of the three sections (A/B/C) below and kindly submit the form.     * = required fields.
Plant Species:  *
Your name:   * Your Email:   *
Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
Own observations: Info from published material (books, journals, website):
Reference of published material:
Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

1:       2:       3:   
4:       5:       6:   
Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
Section C:  Corrections for mistakes and errors in this plant profile
Section of this page where you found an error (select one)
What is the error/mistake and suggest a correction
AntiSpam Verification: Please answer these simple questions:   60 + 3 =     This website is about
       is supported by:
[ EcoGozo, Ministry for Gozo ] [ Projects in Motion ] [ Sunrise Pet & Garden Centre] [ MycoMalta ]
Webpage is copyright of Stephen Mifsud / - (2002-2018)