New Moraea hybrids on the wiki

Michael Mace
Sun, 26 May 2013 11:57:19 PDT


If you're not interested in hybrids, close your eyes and move on to the next


I've just posted this year's results from my Moraea breeding experiments.
There were several interesting new flowers this year.


Background: For several years, I've been experimenting with cross-breeding
the very colorful "Peacock" Moraeas, as well as other species in the Moraea
subgenus Vieusseuxia. I have about 15 species from that subgenus, all of
which seem to be willing to interbreed.


I grow hybrids in addition to the species themselves. Since many Moraea
species are becoming rare, I think it's our responsibility to take good care
of the species. But I like playing with the hybrids because I get something
new to look at every year.


I'm documenting my experiments online in the hope that people may find them
interesting. I'd also welcome advice from more experienced growers; I am an
amateur and need all the help I can get.


The PBS has kindly allowed me to post my results to the wiki. I think this
is a good idea for any hybridizer, even an amateur like me. Usually the
records of plant breeders are lost when they die, forcing future growers to
start over from scratch. Information placed on the wiki is backed up to the
Internet Archive, and so is likely to last a lot longer than any of us. If
you too are breeding bulbs and want to share your records on the wiki, I'd
be glad to help you set that up.


Okay, enough background. The highlights from this year are:


--A plum-colored flower with an orange and black center. (MM 10-03d)


--A couple of flowers that look a lot like Moraea gigandra but with a pale
orange center. (MM 11-61a, MM 11-101a)


--A mahogany-colored flower that's the closest thing I've gotten yet to a
truly red Moraea. (MM 11-161b)


--A mustard-colored flower with a bright green eye and intricate feathered
colors on the tepals (this one's in the ugly but interesting category). (MM


--A flower with purple stripes reminiscent of Moraea "Zoe," but with very
different parents. (MM 11-69a)


A photo index to all my hybrids is posted here:…


The photo index is a new wiki feature implemented by the fantastic David
Pilling. It's a big table of thumbnail pictures. If you hover your mouse
over a photo, you'll see some information about it. If you click on the
photo, you'll go to a page with details on that cross, and more photos of
it. If you hold down shift and click, you'll see an enlarged version of the
photo. I think this is a nifty way to help people navigate a large number of
hybrids. You get a visual overview on one page and the ability to dive deep
on the ones you find interesting.


There's also a page with details on my breeding program, including the list
of species I'm still trying to obtain (hint, hint):…


I should let you know about one other experiment we're doing with these
pages. For a long time, those of us on the wiki team have been talking about
adding to it the ability for people to post comments. Some folks are
strongly in favor of that; others are deeply worried that we'll be buried in
spam or that we'll siphon people away from this mail list. But we have been
just arguing opinion, without any hard data. So I volunteered to be an
experimental subject.


We've added a comments form to the Moraea hybrid pages only. My goal in
documenting the hybrids is to recruit more Moraea-growers, including people
from outside the Society. I hope the comments will help to do that,
gradually drawing non-members into interacting with the Society and
eventually becoming members. It's not a replacement or competitor to this
mailing list; all it does is make it easier for anyone to post a comment or
ask a question about the hybrids. At least that's the idea; we'll see what


I'll take responsibility for reviewing and deleting any spam comments.


I'd appreciate any feedback or advice you have regarding the hybrids
themselves, or these new wiki pages.





San Jose, CA (zone 9, min temp 20F / -6C)


PS: You may now resume your regular discussion of bulb species.


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