One of the best time of the year to appreciate the plentiful presence of the different species of wild flowers in the Maltese Islands is spring time. Several of Malta’s 1100 different types of wild plants bloom during the spring. The garrigue environment of Dingli Cliffs with pockets of soil, allows the establishment of typical local plants. Some of these flowering plants have culinary value, and The Cliffs Centre aims to foster more awareness of the surrounding environment and local produce, both through gastronomy and the informative free tours (Check website link here).
Among the edible wild flowers currently in season, are the wild garlic, borage, asparagus and the mallow. The Wild Garlic (Hairy Garlic, Allium subhirsutum, Tewm Muswaf) can easily be recognised by its smell, signifying a pleasant combination of sweetness and astringency. The whitish to pink-coloured flowers and the leaves are edible. The fragrance of the garlic has made it a useful ingredient in cooking for hundreds of years, and the garlic was also even used for its antibacterial properties.
Another prolific species found throughout the surrounding countryside is the Borage (Borago officinalis, Fidloqqom). The bluish flowers of the annual borage, with prominent black anthers are edible, and the leaves can be boiled and used in cooking. Medicinally, the plant has been used since Ancient Greece time, and in the Maltese Islands, an infusion of the plant was used in the treatment of coughs. The Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris, Ħobbejża) is another wild flowers, whose pink to purple flowers are edible. Traditionally, the leaves of the mallow were even used for cooking and for medicinal purposes to treat coughs.
One way to appreciate the various types of wild flowers in the surrounding countryside is through walking in the area. The tours offered by The Cliffs, on a ‘pay-what-it’s-worth’ basis allow visitors to gain an added-value experience of their visit to Dingli Cliffs. More information on the concept of The Cliffs Interpretation Centre can be found in our promotional video trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah7dnM-pue0&t=107s.