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Great Sage

Phlomis fruticosa  L.  (Fam: LAMIACEAE.)

Published date of profile: Oct-2006.
Citation: Mifsud S., (Oct-2006) Phlomis fruticosa on MaltaWildPlants.com

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Nomenclature

Species name :

Phlomis fruticosa  L.

Synonyms :

Basionym or principal synonyms: No Main Synonyms
Full list of synonyms: [ PlantList ]   [ IPNI ]   [ Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Lamiaceae  Lindl.
(Mint Family)

Common name(s) :

Great Sage, Jerusalem Sage

Maltese name(s) :

Salvja tal-Madonna

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Originating from the Maltese islands

Frequency

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer life form: Nano-Phanerophyte (Small trees / Large shrubs)   
Germination: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

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

Red List (1989) :

This species has a threatened status and is listed in the Flora section of the National Red Data Book (Lanfranco, 1989)

Flowering Time :

Apr-Jun

Habitat :

Valley sides, rocky areas, garigues rich in soil.


Images (7 images)
   Phlomis fruticosa   -   Image Code: PHLFR-0.
   Phlomis fruticosa   -   Image Code: PHLFR-1.
   Phlomis fruticosa   -   Image Code: PHLFR-2.
   Phlomis fruticosa   -   Image Code: PHLFR-3.
   Phlomis fruticosa   -   Image Code: PHLFR-4.
   Phlomis fruticosa   -   Image Code: PHLFR-5.
   Phlomis fruticosa   -   Image Code: PHLFR-6.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images

Wikipedia

JSTOR

GBIF

Med Checklist

Cat. of Life

EoL

IPNI

The Plant List

NYBG

Vienna Virt. Hb.

RBGE

KEW

MNHN

Arkive


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Wild Plants of Malta & Gozo - Plant: Phlomis fruticosa (Great Sage)

Great Sage

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Nomenclature

Species name:

Phlomis fruticosa   L.

Author(s):

Carl von Linné
   Sweden, 1707-1778

General names:

Great Sage, Jerusalem sage

Maltese name:

Salvja tal-Madonna

Plant Family:

Lamiaceae / Labiatae   (Mint Family)

Name Derivation:

Phlomis = From the Greek word for mullein, perhaps due to the similarity of leaves (Greek);
fruticosa = Having a shrubby or bushy appearance (Latin).

Synonyms:

Phlomis portae, Phlomis collina, Phlomis salviifolia


Plant Description

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Habitat:

Valley sides, rocky areas, garigue rich in soil.

Sources in Malta:

Locally frequent, such as in Wied Incita, Wied Anglu, Wied il-Ghasel, Fawwara and Ghar Lapsi (north of reverse osmosis plant).

Plant Height:

50cm-150cm

Flowering Time:

Apr-Jun

A perennial plant that assumes a shrubby growth form due to the numrous branches it forms, mostly at the basal third of the plant, but ocassionally also at the lower part of the flowering stems. It is an evergreen plant, but in Malta it looses some leaves during arid and hot Summer. Young stems and flowering stems are green, covered with densely short, stiff, felt-like hairs (tomentose) and have a squarish cross sectional area. Lower stems are less hairy and turns woody with a greyish-brown colour.

Leaves have a characteristic greyish/silvery-green colour and a velvet-like texture due their tomentose hairs. Lower face of leaves are more tomentose (felt-like) and greyish. They are arranged along stems in an opposite and decussate fashion (alternating in pairs at right angles). All leaves are petiolated (longer in basal leaves, up to 35mm) and have a rather oval-lanceolate shape, measuring between 3-8cm long. Leaves have an entire, ash-grey outline and many show a shallow sinusoidal (wavy) margin. Prominent, reticulate, sunken venation is seen at the upper face of the leaf and raised out at the lower face.

The inflorescence is a densely flowered, compact verticillaster of about 15-35 flowers each and subtended from a pair of bracts. Bracts are oblanceolate to obovate in shape, subsessile and often pointing down, nearly parallel to the flowering stem. Usually there is a solitary, terminal verticillaster 'head' per flowering stalk, but some adult plants show 2 or 3 verticillasters well spaced over each other.

The calyx has an actinomorphic, 5-toothed tubular structure (about 12-18mm long) and covered with long, white hairs. It has 10 longitudinal veins and its teeth are narrow and long (awl shaped).

The corolla is basically a 2-lipped, zygomorphic structure, about 25-32mm long. Both lips have the same vivid yellow colour, but vary in shape. The upper lip has a narrow hood-shaped structure that arcs downwards towards the lower lip, nearly touching it. The lower edges are slightly winged out and the uppermost part is grooved or few-toothed. The lower lip has a flattened structure with 3 lobes. There are 2 small lateral lobes and a central, large, rounded lobe which has a central notch and its sides are sometimes curved up.

The flower have 4 fertile stamens running parallel to each other with a pair shorter from the other. The longer pair protrude out from half-way the upper lip, arching down towards the lower lip to the extent that they come in touch. Stamens have firm, pale yellow filaments and thick, amber-yellow anthers. The female part is mostly hidden by the perianth and consists of an ovary situated at the base of the calyx and a long style that protrudes out somewhere at the uppermost part of the upper lip. Like the stamens, it arcs down towards the lower lip, but instead remains close to the upper lip. The style has a bifid stigma (split in two equal parts).

The fruit is a set of 4 nutlets held inside the persistent calyx. They are light brown, cylindrical with 3 rounded sides, rounded apex and about 4-5mm long. When fully ripe, they detatch from the calyx base and fall out by the swaying of the long flowering stems.


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B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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Mostly applies for locally frequent to rare plants.

1:        2:   
3:       4:   
5:       6:   

Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Golden Bay, Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Abdul (Xlendi), Fields near salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi), Buskett (Verdala side), Chadwik Lakes (Fiddien side) and other such locations around Malta and Gozo. GPS readings are welcomed too! Thank you.
 
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