Il-Maqluba, is a deep, large-scale inland collapsed solution structure, caused by a dissolution of limestone followed by cavern collapse, to form a doline. Through this collapsed structure, the doline bed supports a dense laurel matorral, typical of shaded sub-humid conditions. Such matorral is dominated by the large Bay Laurel trees (Rand), which, although a true Maltese native species, is locally rare with a restricted distribution in the Maltese Islands. Various other trees occur in the area, such as the Maltese National Tree, the Sandarac Gum (Għargħar) and the Maltese Salt Tree, (Siġar tal-Irmied), a tree species endemic to the Maltese Islands.
Il-Maqluba is also important for many species, including invertebrates, macro-fungi and myxomycetes, that are confined to this area or which have a restricted distribution in the Maltese Islands.
The Natura 2000 site has various protective designations being an Area of Ecological Importance; a Site of Scientific Importance; a Nature Reserve and a Special Area of Conservation of International Importance.
MEPA declared this site as a Tree Protected Area on the 24th May 2011, in accordance with the provisions of the Trees and Woodlands Protection Regulations (2011) as per Government Notice number 473/11.