Fagonia cretica Linnaeus, 1753
Common names: Virgin’s Mantle [En], Fagonie de Crète [Fr], Manto de la Virgen [Es]
Episkopi (Επισκοπή, Piskobu, Piskopi), LIMASSOL (Λεμεσός, Leymosun) ● Cyprus
Description: A small, spiny, erect, undershrub, more or less glandular.
The branches are slender, glabrous. The leaves are opposite, 1 to 3 foliate; leaflets small, entire, linear or linear oblong, sessile or with very short petioles. Stipules are modified into 2 pairs of sharp slender thorns sometimes exceeding 1.5 cm in length.
The flowers are solitary, pink-purple, with 5 petals and yellow anthers.
The fruit is a capsule, angled, pointed.
Biology: Flowering from March to May.
Habitat: Dry calcareous rocks, clay slopes.
Distribution: South Mediterranean species, known from Spain (Alicante province, the Balearic Islands), south Italy and Sicily, Greece including Crete (locus typicus), Malta, Cyprus, North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt, Middle East, Pakistan and India.
Uses: Fagonia cretica aqueous extract contains potential anti-cancer agents acting either singly or in combination against breast cancer cell proliferation.
Casha A., 2013-2014. Flora of the Maltese Islands.
Lam M, Carmichael AR, Griffiths HR., 2012. An Aqueous Extract of Fagonia cretica Induces DNA Damage, Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Breast Cancer Cells via FOXO3a and p53 Expression. School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.