Deadly Vanilla Flavour

Blink and you’ll miss it.  In fact, most people do.  

There is something fleeting about this plant that produces a long head covered with small white flowers, like a ring encrusted with glittering diamonds, before shrivelling up as each flower turns brown as it starts to produce seeds.  It is a rapid process that only takes a couple of days as the plant rushes through the cycle in order to produce the seeds that are vital for its reproduction.

This is, perhaps, also down to the conditions in which this plant thrives.  The Potato Weed is most typically found in fields after they have been harvested, moving in before other plants have the opportunity to do so.  Its ability to thrive under the Maltese summer sun, where many other fail, helps.

What helps it even more is the poison that it holds within and which can be deadly to sheep, cattle and horses that opt to feed on it.

Botanical Name: Heliotropium Europeaum L

Common name: Common Heliotrope or Potato Weed (English) Vanilja Bajda (Maltese)

Family:  Borage


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