Whats blooming in the park this week.. is this a Moraea?

Gastil marygastil@yahoo.com
Sun, 11 Nov 2012 10:13:17 PST
Thank you for the ID.

That park is irrigated in summer.
I am both happy and sad to hear it is Moraea polystachya.  

Happy because I have those from BX seeds which grew well last winter. 

Sad because I did not irrigate those all summer so they may not come back. 

It seems strange a corm would want moisture while dormant. 

Maybe my seedlings will survive since we did get dew and two insignificant sprinklings last summer, 

and the soil mix they are in is high in sand that retains its water tenaciously. 

If not, I'll start over with seeds and this time give summer water.

Comparing to the picture on page 302 of 'The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs', their M. polystachya differ from the ones in the park slightly, but not enough to not be the same species, just perhaps a different growing condition. It says "Dry Karroid slopes".

The watercolor on page 119 of 'The Moraeas of South Africa' shows the striped "conspicuous reddish veins" on the ovary just like in the park. 
The map shows this species grows in a variety of locations in South Africa, "widespread in dry areas". 

Well my back yard is a dry area so I remain hopeful.

- Gastil

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