The Maltese islands, with their central Mediterranean location, are characterised by a flora which has affinities with the flora of the rest of the region, i.e. the western, eastern, and North African Mediterranean. The main resemblances are with the flora of Sicily (and in some case with that of the Pelagie islands).

There are over a thousand species of vascular plants, of which about 700 are indigenous, over 200 are introduced species, and a few (about 25) are endemic or sub-endemic. The endemics (which are hence particular to just the Maltese islands) are either palaeoendemics, which survived only on the islands following a southward migration after the Ice Age, or neo-endemics, species which evolved as a consequence of isolation. Sub-endemics all have a restricted distribution, such as for example plants that are found only in Malta and Pelagian Islands and nowhere else in the world.

These include the Maltese national plant (Palaeocyanus crassifolius), the Maltese cliff-orache (Cremnophyton lanfrancoi), the Maltese salt tree (Darniella melitensis) and the Maltese spurge (Euphorbia melitensis).