Exotic Plant (that'w what i think)

Requests about identification of wild plants in Malta and Gozo. (Please include precise details and pictures to help the experts in their ID process)

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Conchiolin
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Exotic Plant (that'w what i think)

Post by Conchiolin » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:12 pm

I think this plant is new to our islands and it's growing and spreading fast! It's an epiphyte i think Like the ivy and i really don' t have the faintest idea what it could be. It wasn't here until about 5 years ago. It grows in urban areas and I think it needs a lot of humidity. I never saw its fruit.
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Post by greenhorn » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:09 pm

Cymbalaria muralis

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Post by Conchiolin » Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:26 am

Wo-hoho that was fast thanks man or perhaps i made a stupid question after all :oops: Anywhoo Interesting medicinal properites:

http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr ... ia+muralis

Hope it won't spread so fast to become a pestilential pest :-D nice adjective right there. It's exotic right?
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Post by IL-PINE » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:18 am

well it is common in Qormi near us. It is spreading fast.

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Post by IL-PINE » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:19 am

nice photos ta :D

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Post by greenhorn » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:45 pm

Contends mucus and tannin; very obsolete use for wound healing and against inflammation of skin ( might be for teenagers with acne ), nothing really interesting.

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Post by Conchiolin » Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:22 pm

10q Pine and Greenhorn maybe that's why it's interesting (for me) because i'm a pizza face :lol: but yep you're right greenhorn nothing interesting after all. It is a bit worrying the way it's spreading though.
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Post by greenhorn » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:10 pm

Conchiolin wrote:10q Pine and Greenhorn maybe that's why it's interesting (for me) because i'm a pizza face :lol: but yep you're right greenhorn nothing interesting after all. It is a bit worrying the way it's spreading though.
I tried to say, that the things for medical use are not extraordinaire, but I think, it`s a nice little flower and not too agressive.
Btw, what is a Pizza-face without cheeeeese?

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Post by RB » Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:42 am

Please do not spread this plant - it is VERY effective at invading, people say "how cute" and plant it in their gardens/pots, and then it takes over. It seeds very freely and the seed have a high germination rate, if you just pull the plant out of the ground and drop it on the soil surface, it is succulent enough to survive, drop new roots, and re-establish itself.

I have this at home and I have a personal mission to eradicate - by any means!! :evil:

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Post by Conchiolin » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:02 am

I will surely help you with this mission. But i think it's a bit impossible every nooke and crannie every crevice is filled with this little crappy plant. And i assure you it's very difficult to decrappinate the place unless you use those herbicides.

BTW Greenhorn a 'pizzaface' is someone who has his face covered with those nasty little volcanoes (you get the metaphor?). Here in Malta there are many words to describe a face with acne and currently pizza face is the most popular.(try to observe a pizza which is in oven)
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Post by robcar » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:53 am

I don't think that there is any reason to declare war on this plant - it may be difficult to remove and can be a pest in some gardens and yards - so if it bothers you guys in your gardens, go ahead and attack it.

However, although it may be a pest in such places, it is more or less confined to small cracks in shady rocks and walls and does not seem to thrive in most other habitats. So if it is not in your gardens let it be!

Although I don't think that it is actually native to the Maltese Islands it comes from the Mediterranean region, and is naturalised in many parts of the Mediterranean.

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Post by RB » Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:28 pm

Sure robcar, my "war" is purely on my turf - it would most certainly be an impossible task to go for it in the wild, should it create a problem, which at this point in time I do not think it is.

I think that it is edible by snails and stuff, I have often encountered damaged leaves - plus it's small size means that it must often be smothered by other species.

Obviously in the garden, if one controls other competing vegetation, slugs and snails, etc, then this plant is rampant, and it can take years of assiduous work to control.

Conchy - if you want to do some disinfestation work, a good place to start is Wied Babu (Zurrieq) - there is that climber that I call "chinese lantern plant" (too lazy to look up proper name, someone please step in) which is carpeting large areas of indigenous vegetation and carob trees.

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Post by Conchiolin » Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:50 pm

Yeah right!! When i have some free time i'll grab my aeroplane and give those ruddy plants a nice shower of glyphosate!!
:twisted:
:lol:
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Post by MWP admin » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:18 pm

Nice discussion guys!

Cymbalaria muralis is a member of the snapdragon/figwort family (Scrophulariaceae) that existed in prehistoric times (=Archaeophyte).

So far it is restricted only to gardens and cosmopolitan areas and not much found in the wild perhaps due the fact that the seed has short dispersion range and also as Robcar said - it don't like our native habitat.

I think Tropaoleum majus (annual) and Casmanthe bicolor (perennial) are more serious examples of invasive threats!


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Post by Conchiolin » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:03 am

Yep i agree with you about the Tropaoleum majus or rather Tropaeolum majus ( Transposition error in the name). I have that as an ornamental plant (beautiful flowers) and it really spreads fast like an ivy and suppresses other plants it really likes humid conditions so you won't find it growing in garigues and it's no problem in arable farming either but it is a problem for other plants!

But in my opinion we still should watch out for these plants and try to predict wether they will be a treath or not for the indigenous flora (and fauna) and we should study how these plants may be affecting our environment so to avoid other tragedies such as the Cape Sorrel tragedy and you know what they say:

"Il-Kelb il-Mismut kull Ilma jahsbu mishun" and
"Ahseb fil-hazin biex it-tajjeb ma jonqosx"
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Post by RB » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:03 pm

Neither Tropaeolum majus nor Chasmanthe bicolor are or are ever likely to be a problem.

T.m. is very delectable by caterpillars of the Cabbage white - at this time, the leaves and stalks are starting to be decimated, these plants will be covered with hundreds of caterpillars and the destruction they cause to the plant is absolute - the plants generally only grow until the butterfly lays it's eggs, then soon after it's mostly obliterated. As pointed out by Conchy, it also requires humid conditions. It has been around for a long time, and with the exception of a few limited areas where the environment has already been greatly influenced by human activity (read "competing species suppressed") even if established intentionally it tends to remain highly localised.

I have never seen this plant in truly wild conditions, always close to human habitation.

As an aside, if anyone wants to emulate the caterpillars, both the leaves and the flowers of T.m. are commonly used in salads...

Re C. b., this does not seem to propagate very well via seed, even though it produces plenty. It spreads extremely slowly, if spread can be the correct word for it's clumping via bulb offsets. This is always present where planted by man, and stays there. I have seen clumps in many man-planted locations, but have never seen evidence of this spreading outside the clump. I have also got this growing in the garden, for many years, and have never seen a seedling. It is also a very obvious plant present in small numbers and if need be to eradicate, would be extremely easy.

Quite frankly there are zillions of imported plant species growing in cultivation in Malta with potential to survive outside cultivation, the above mentioned are just two mundane exemplars.

As far as problems go, the only one we probably have to live with forever bar any fabulous technological control breakthroughs is Oxalis, the others likely may be eliminated if enough effort is made.

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Post by MWP admin » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:16 pm

Re T.majus - there is a big population which is growing year after year at wied Incita, just beside mount carmel. Today was there and it spans some 6m long!!! Very few plant manage to survive under it's shadow. I have been monitoring this pop for 2 years now, its always on the increase! I agree that on full-sun garigue it will not thrive.

re: C.bicolor as an eample, Wied id-Dies /Wied il-faham is infested with it !
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Post by robcar » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am

Congrats conchiolin for your new Avatar! 8) Simply the best!

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Post by Conchiolin » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:17 am

Thanks roby. That's me when i was still 3 years old and seen my first horror movie. :shock: :lol:
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Post by MWP admin » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:52 pm

RB wrote:Neither Tropaeolum majus nor Chasmanthe bicolor are or are ever likely to be a problem.
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