Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 6(1975)4(452)

[p.452] G. LANFRANCO: Duwa u Semm fil-Ħxejjex Maltin (KKM Publication, 1975), 129 pp., illus.

In this publication Mr. G. Lanfranco, a well known naturalist, has given a description of plants found in the Maltese Islands, and explains how people have made use of them through the ages. The book is divided into five parts in which (a) Maltese traditions about the use of wild plants are examined, (b) earlier studies, especially those made by the botanist Prof. J. Borg are indicated, (c) the various popular uses of medicinal plants in curing various ailments are outlined, (d) medicinal plants found in the Maltese Islands are described and illustrated, and (e) an index of popular and technical names is provided.

Wild plants have their medical value. This has been recognized through the ages even by the Maltese country folks who formed their own medical lore. Such plants have been used in medicine, perfumes, cookery, superstitious potions and religious rituals. The ‘doctrine of signatures’ indicates many popular beliefs among the Maltese.

Mr. Lanfranco makes us realize that wild plants embellish our countryside. They form our natural garden, an enchanting characteristic of the picturesque Maltese countryside which should be protected.

C.G.S.