Buskett woodland is situated nearby Rabat and Dingli. It was constructed about 500 years ago when the Knights of St. John ruled the Maltese islands. Buskett, (in Maltese means a small forest). Because the Maltese islands are so small, there are no forests, rivers, lakes or any other major biotopes. We only have different small ecosystems like: Woodland Garigue Maquis Steppe Marsh land. Buskett was constructed as a hunting ground for the Grand Master Verdala. Infact, there is also a palace called “Verdala Palace”, that was used by this Grand Master. Today, Buskett, is not a hunting place any more, but it is a nature reserve and many birds find their resting place in it. There are also a large variety of flora and fauna.
The Discoglossus pictus is the only Maltese amphibian. It lives in rain water ponds. We find frogs in Buskett. Their colour varies from olive-green, grey, yellow or brown. It is protected by law. The Frog.
Podarcis filfolensis The Maltese Wall Lizard is about 28cm and is very common in Buskett. In the hot seasons of Summer and Spring, we can see it basking in the sun. However it hides away when people get too close.
Chamaeleo chamaeleon The Chameleon is very common in Buskett. It is adapted to life in wooded areas, but it is often seen in garigue habitats too. Its colour is green or brown with paler markings. Colours can turn lighter or darker. When threatened, apart from changing colour, it puffs up its body and opens its mouth wide to look larger and more fierce. Female leaves the trees in order to lay eggs in a hole dug near the base of the trunk; the eggs are then covered with soil.
Ceratonia siliqua The carob tree is a very dominant tree in Buskett. The carob tree is a slow growing, medium sized evergreen tree originating in the eastern Mediterranean. It is a member of the Legume (Pea) family and is the only member of the genus Ceratonia . It can grow up to 15 meters in height. The production of fruit begins around the age of 15 and continues for the life of the plant. The leaves are broad, dark green and offering substantial shade. The pods are long and leathery often growing up to 30cm long.
Opuntia ficus-indica The prickly pear tree is a very common tree in Buskett. This can withstand harsh conditions like a lot of sun, lack of water, and wind. It is an evergreen perennial that grows to 5m by 5m. It flowers from June to September. Its leaves are reduced to spines and those that appear as leaves are infact succulent stems.
Olea europaea The olive tree is a very predominant tree in Buskett. It is an evergreen tree growing to 50 ft. in height with a spread of about 30 ft. Some of the olive trees in Buskett are very old i.e. older than 100 years.
Pinus halepensis The Aleppo Pine is very common in Buskett. Its leaves are needle like – reduced to reduce water loss by transpiration. This tree can grow very high and wide. It grows cones because it is a gymnosperm (conifer).
Tetraclinis articulata The Sandarac is Malta’s national tree. It is not very common in Buskett. It is an evergreen tree reaching a height of about 15m with a reddish-brown scented trunk. If it grows in rock fissures and rocky slopes. It may grow up to 5m in height. The tree bear characteristic cones have are split into 4 by 2 grooves.
Populus alba The White Poplar is very common in Buskett especially in the valley that passes from the centre of it that is called “Wied il-Luq”. In Maltese ‘luq’ means white poplar. So this valley is named after this tree.This tree grows very high. Its leaves have a silvery underneath so as to reflect excess sunlight. The upper faces are very shiny. White poplar can grow to 15.3 meters tall and has white-grayish bark.
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