by Stephen Mifsud
   23 Jun 2024      ()
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Zannichellia melitensis   (Maltese Horned Pondweed)

Zannichellia melitensis  (POTAMOGETONACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2006 (taxon update: Dec-2006)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Zannichellia melitensis - datasheet created on Dec-2006. Retrieved from on 23-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Zannichellia melitensisBrullo, Giusso & Lanfr.
Published in Flora Medit. 11: 379 (2001)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Zannichellia palustris subsp. palustris L.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Potamogetonaceae Dumort. (The Pondweed Family)
2 species from the Potamogetonaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Maltese Horned Pondweed

Maltese name(s) :

Ħarira tal-ilma 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]: HYDROPHYTE ( living only or mostly in water )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

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

Red List (1989) :

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

Flowering Time :

December – March

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Zannichellia: A Genus named after Giovanni Gerolamo Zannichelli (1662-1729), a Venetian botanist, naturalist, physician and pharmacist. Further info : [1] [2]. (Latin origin )
melitensis: "Originating from or related to the Maltese Islands. ( )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Remarks :

Many authors are now treating this presumed Maltese endemic as a synonym of Zannichellia paulustris. For now, given the different and specific habitat of temporary fresh water rock pools and and consistent differences, even if marginal, the endemism is still retained as valid.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Species endemic to the Maltese Islands, not found in the rest of Europe
Preferred habitat in Malta: Temporary freshwater rock pools formed by rain water retained in rock basins in karstic limestone
Botanical Description: Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? Si(M)

Links & Further literature (2 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




Zannichellia Major Boenn. Ex Rchb. A first record of a non-endemic species of Zannichellia L. (Fam. Zannichelliaceae Dum.) from the Maltese Islands Stephen Mifsud  (2009)
Assessment of Zannichellia melitensis for IUCN Redlist Richard Lansdown  (2018)
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 (13 images)
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-0.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-1.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-2.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-3.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-4.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-5.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-6.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-7.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-8.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-9.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-10.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-11.
   Zannichellia melitensis   -   Image Code: ZNCMT-12.

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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 B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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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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