Three mystery irids

Leo A. Martin
Sun, 21 Apr 2013 11:22:16 PDT
Gastil wrote

> On the second Moraea, is the spathe (bract that the bud
> comes out of) very transparent with distinct vertical
> veins? I'm guessing M. setifolia but not sure....
> Or is the spathe green? That might help identify.

The spathe is completely dry with vertical veins. Setifolia means bristly foliage (or
Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence foliage) and my three plants are completely
glabrous. I was mistaken yesterday, however; the leaves are thick and channeled, and
would be V-shaped in cross-section. In bright sun today I can partially make out a
little bit of my writing on the container: "Moraea sp." I managed to find my copy of
Goldblatt & Anderson's The Moraeas of Southern Africa, which does not contain M.
setifolia; my plant is probably in Moraea section Deserticola but has characteristics
that exclude it from the ones in the book. The closest matches are either M. saxicola,
M. namibensis or M. macgregorii. M. saxicola has a yellow leaf margin and my plant does
not, and its flowers open in mid-afternoon, while mine opened at mid-day. M. namibensis
has fleshy spathes. M. macgregorii has thickened and pale leaf margins and its flowers
open in late afternoon. In section Subracemosae is M. macrocarpa, which should be much
taller than my plant, and has fleshy spathes; the flowering time is correct, however.

My best guess considering I probably don't have a very rare plant is M. macrocarpa. This
is after all the first flowering in a smallish container. I'm going to repot the plant
to a larger container this dormant season and see what happens. Corm morphology is
important in Moraea so I'll pay attention to that as well.

> For your third irid, I'll venture Ixia longituba, page. 241 in The
> Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs. If you combine the length they give
> for perianth tube plus tepal length you get 5.5 cm, not 6.4 cm.

Thank you. I wondered about that one; the vegetative parts and spike in the Encyclopeida
photo look right. My flowers are not so congested on the raceme when open and the
conspicuous netting on the outside of my flowers is not seen in the Encyclopedia photo.
Measuring from the base of my flower's tube to the tip of the petals gives 70mm rather
than the 50 suggested in the Encyclopedia. The anthers on my flower as well are purple
rather than the yellow depicted in the photo. I am not familiar with Ixia so I don't
know how much variation there is in things like flower vein netting and anther color. I
have not purchased I. longituba seed in the past but sometimes mistakes happen. Also I
noticed the cup has a rupture; I can see a roundish corm with fibrous tunics, which
would be in keeping with Ixia.

Eugene wrote

> I think your first Moraea (yellow & white) is Moraea serpentina.

Now that I found my Moraea book, I think you are correct. My flowers match those in the
Encyclopedia. The leaves are not tightly coiled as I would have expected and the
inflorescence barely clears the ground, as opposed to the photo in the Encyclopedia.

I have still more buds appearing in the last two days. I didn't realize how late some of
these flower. And I have a lot of repotting to do once dormancy sets in. My M. speciosa
are way too big for these small cups.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

More information about the pbs mailing list