Since the common name for this plant in Maltese is also Sabbara, the valley must have taken its name from this plant and thus means that it has been growing there for quite a long time.
My questions are: Is the Aloe vera at Ta Cenc the same variety as those in the African continent?
Has anyone done any DNA testing on the plant or at least any biological studies?
Could these plants be a remnant of a larger distribution of this plant from Africa?
Has anyone noticed whether it could be producing seeds or just spreading by vegetative means?
I would appreciate any comments.
- Wild Aloe vera.jpg
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However just because it grows there, you can not automatically assume that it is wild, as your last post seems to indicate your train of thought.
I ask you only to consider the Agave sp at Bahar ic-Caghaq for example.
I do think that it will however be very difficult to decide on this one, maybe historical records of the name of the valley, or other references to this plant in old Maltese books/documents would be able to at least indicate the earliest recorded date of this plant's existence in Malta/Gozo.
Even then, you only have an early date, not proof of this plant's "wildness" because humanity has been trading and distributing useful items including plants for millennia, so it is entirely conceivable that this plant was introduced, say, 1000 years ago and cultivated around this valley, only to escape.
I have seen the plants described by Cactus and they look as innocent native wild plants, far away from arable land, or footpaths. So I think this population is not directly planted by man but only accidentaly. I think that there was a direct cultivation in some arable land near the valley (now destroyed), and seeds or offsets where carried there by another vector, namely birds or more feasible by water streams down the valley.
- Aloe Vera, Limits of ta' Ta' Cenc
- AloeVera.jpg (105.76 KiB) Viewed 27560 times