|Myrtle (Myrtus communis)|
In Malta it is found growing wild in a few localities but in the past few years it has been planted in other places including the Forest 2000 on the slopes between the Red Tower and the Għadira Nature Reserve where a typical Mediterranean woodland is being created. The myrtle trees that were planted in the area, are now in flower as are the small but growing strawberry trees another typical species of the Mediterranean which until recently could not be found growing in the Maltese countryside.
In Sardinia and
Myrtle is not widely used as a spice or herb because of its strong flavour but is used as firewood when grilling meat as it gives it a spicy flavour. It is sometimes stuffed in the body cavity of poultry for the same effect.
The myrtle, known in Maltese as riħan, is a typical plant of the Mediterranean maquis or macchia. This is a habitat consisting of densely growing evergreen shrubs. Other species often found in this habitat are the lentisk (deru) and the Mediterranean heath (erika). The maquis is most synonymous with the
This article was published in The Times on 21.01.09.