|"Fungus coccineus Melitensis Typhoides", |
from Paolo Boccone, Icones & Descriptiones rariarum plantarum Siciliae, Melitae, Galliae, & Italiae (1674)
Collection was only allowed 15 days after the feast of St. John in May, this allowed the plant to flower and propagate. The increasing demand on this restricted plant led to concern on its possible extinction. Grand Master Pinto decreed the Rock out of bounds in 1746; trespassers risked a three-year spell as oarsmen on the Knights' galleys. He posted a permanent guard there and even built a precarious cable-car basket from the rock to the mainland and also ordered the sides smoothed to remove handholds. Nowadays, Fungus Rock is a nature reserve and the rare plant is still protected by Maltese law.
|Fungus Rock at Dwejra, Gozo (G. Mannaerts)|