A variety of plant species are endemic to Malta, that is are found nowhere else in the world except in the Maltese islands; others, referred to as sub-endemic, are found in the Maltese islands and one or two other restricted territories. A significant number of such flora are protected by national law; some are also protected on a European scale in view of their interest. Among these one can mention the Maltese pyramidal orchid (Scientific: Anacamptis urvilleana; Maltese: Orkida Piramidali ta' Malta), the Maltese hyoseris (Scientific: Hyoseris frutescens; Maltese: Żigland ta' Għawdex) and the Maltese toadflax (Scientific: Linaria pseudolaxiflora; Maltese: Papoċċi ta' Malta).

Referring to those (sub-)endemic plant species listed in the EC Habitats Directive, of interest is the fact that their distribution covers the coastal cliffs of the islands, since certain species are confined to such habitat. Other species are then mostly found in garigue surroundings.

Unfortunately, their conservation status in general is unfavourable, with a couple of species having a rather bad and deteriorating status. In certain cases, natural factors, such as collapse of terrain and fires, might play a role. Nonetheless, anthropogenic influences, such as collecting and pollution, are the main cause of threat. To counteract this, various protected areas have been designated to afford further protection to endemic flora. The setting up of policies, and their implementation and enforcement, are crucial, as are research and monitoring. Education and awareness are also imperative, especially noting that such restricted species impart an identity to the Maltese islands and its inhabitants.

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