by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense   (Maltese Polypody)

Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense  (POLYPODIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Jan-2014 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense - datasheet created on Jan-2014. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitensePeroni, G.Peroni & Mifsud
Published in NO DATA

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms

Plant Family :

Polypodiaceae J. Presl & C. Presl (The Polypod Fern Family)
1 species from the Polypodiaceae family is recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Maltese Polypody

Maltese name(s) :

Felċi ta' Malta

Status for Malta :

Endemic. Occurs only on the Maltese islands

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Soon to be updated...
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Regulation 26 of [S.L. 549.44] (Strictly protected endemic species)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

December – March

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

vulgare subsp. melitense:

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Remarks :

This fern has been recentely discovered by Stephen Mifsud and described as a new subspecies of Polypodium vulgare with fern experts Adalberto Peroni and Gabriele Peroni by a publication in Dec 2013. The fern shares characters both from P. vulgare and P. cambricum; both of which are never recorded from Malta. The small size and triangular shape of the fronds are more similar to P. cambricum, but the scales, microscopic characters of the sori and spornagia, and he stomatic cells of the epidermis are closely related to P. vulgare.

Two populations were found in the escarpments and cliffs in the South part of Gozo, with one population consisting of few, small fronds, hence very rare and protected. This Polypody is unique for the fact it grows in a rocky, arid and warm environment like Malta, where ferns of this genus prefers more damp situations. The work on the Maltese Polypody does not stop here: the author is tracing for funds for conservation in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, and chromosomal analysis from local or perhaps an European University.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Species endemic to the Maltese Islands, not found in the rest of Europe
Preferred habitat in Malta: Shaded calcareous rock on valley sides
Botanical Description: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

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RBGE Herbarium

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Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (7 images)
   Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense   -   Image Code: PLPVM-0.
   Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense   -   Image Code: PLPVM-1.
   Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense   -   Image Code: PLPVM-2.
   Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense   -   Image Code: PLPVM-3.
   Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense   -   Image Code: PLPVM-4.
   Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense   -   Image Code: PLPVM-5.
   Polypodium vulgare subsp. melitense   -   Image Code: PLPVM-6.

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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
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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.

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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!
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