by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Valantia hispida   (Hairy Valantia)

Valantia hispida  (RUBIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date May-2008 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Valantia hispida - datasheet created on May-2008. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Valantia hispidaL.
Published in Syst. Nat. ed. 10; 2: 1307 (1759)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Valantia filiformis Lojac.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Rubiaceae Juss. (The Bedstraw Family)
14 species from the Rubiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Hairy Valantia

Maltese name(s) :

Valantja niggieża

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]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

March – April

Colour of Flowers:

White or Inconspicuous


Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

hispida: Covered or having bristles, stiff slightly prickly hairs. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Remarks :

This plant was first recorded by the English visiting botanist J. Duthie in the late 19th century from Comino and Nadur (Gozo). It was last reported by Dr. J. Borg in 1927, probably citing Duthie's record and never seen again since then. For this reason, the species was believed to become extinct. In 2007, the author of (Stephen Mifsud) has rediscoverd a new population in the SouthEast of Gozo and published in a peer-reviewed journal. (Check the achievments web-page for full list of publications)

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Rocks and other dry places.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: Annual. Stems 6-20 cm; lower internodes up to 25 mm, much abbreviated in inflorescence, more or less scabrid-hispid, particularly above. Leaves 6-10 x 2-3.5 mm, narrowly obovate to oblanceolate, usually mucronate. Peduncle and pedicels broadly coalescent and strongly thickening, tightly encircling the fruit, dorsally with about 15-25 straight bristles. Hermaphrodite flowers 1.5-2 mm, more or less cup-shaped. Mericarps usually 2, 1.1-1.4 mm, papillose.
Chromosome number: 2n=18
Distributional range: Mediterranean region, S. Portugal.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
the Balaeric 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
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? Ag Bl(I M) dCa(C F G H L P T) Co Cr Ct Cy Eg Gr Hs(S) It Li Lu Ma Sa Si Tn Tu(A)

Links & Further literature (1 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Rediscovery and present distribution of Valantia hispida l. (Fam. Rubiaceae) in the Maltese Islands Stephen Mifsud  (2019)
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 (5 images)
   Valantia hispida   -   Image Code: VLTHI-0.
   Valantia hispida   -   Image Code: VLTHI-1.
   Valantia hispida   -   Image Code: VLTHI-2.
   Valantia hispida   -   Image Code: VLTHI-3.
   Valantia hispida   -   Image Code: VLTHI-4.

Buy Seeds and Docs
Sales of seeds of wild plants for academic studies, research or personal use. Note that not all species seeds can be exported - depending on Maltese regulations and CITES, and availability depends on season. You are hence kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges. Currently local orders are not taken.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

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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 above). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, 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.
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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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