by Stephen Mifsud
   15 Jul 2024      ()
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Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis
  (Maltese Yellow Kidney Vetch)

Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis  (FABACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Nov-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 15-Jul-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensisBrullo & Giusso
Published in Sp. Pl. : 720 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Aspalathus cretica L.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Fabaceae Lindl. (=Leguminosae) (The Pea Family)
106 species from the Fabaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Maltese Yellow Kidney Vetch, Maltese Shrubby Kidney Vetch

Maltese name(s) :

Ħatba s-sewda ta' Malta, Ħatba s-safra 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]: CHAMEOPHYTE ( dwarf or small woody shrubs )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

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

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

April – June

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Anthyllis: Meaning a flower (Anthos) and down-facing / downy (ioulos/ yllis) with reference to the downy hairs on the calyx (and sometimes the flowers too). (Greek origin )
hermanniae subsp. melitensis:

Planting in rural areas :

Encouraged to be planted in the wild that is in rural areas including ODZ.

Remarks :

The scientists Salvatore Brullo and Gianpetro Giusso del Galdo have studied and compared many morphological features of several specimens of Anthyllis hermanniae s.l. in the Mediterranean region. Results showed that the Maltese population has significant different characters from the rest. As a result they concluded that the Maltese specimens corresponds to a new subspecies and consequently have described the taxon - Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis . This was published in 2006 and currently this species is considered as an endemic to the Maltese Islands. The study have actually split the taxon into 7 subspecies, most being strict endemics and reckognized the species Anthyllis hystrix from the Balaeric Islands.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Species endemic to the Maltese Islands, not found in the rest of Europe
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: Shrub up to 50 cm, with tortuous, woody branches, the ends of the branches becoming spiny. Leaves simple or 3-foliolate; leaflets oblong-spathulate or oblong-obovate, sericeous above, strongly so beneath. Flowers solitary or in axillary fascicles of up to 3 flowers, forming an interrupted raceme. Calyx 3-5 mm, tubular, the teeth triangular, much shorter than the sparsely sericeous tube. Corolla yellow. Seed 1.
Distributional range: Mediterranean region.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, Greece, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? AE(G) Al Co Cr Gr It Ju Sa Si(M S) Tu(A E)

Links & Further literature (0 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




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)
   Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis   -   Image Code: ATLHR-0.
   Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis   -   Image Code: ATLHR-1.
   Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis   -   Image Code: ATLHR-2.
   Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis   -   Image Code: ATLHR-3.
   Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis   -   Image Code: ATLHR-4.

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