Galaxia

The genus Moraea can be divided into five groups: Galaxia, Gynandriris, Hexaglottis, Homeria, and Moraea. Galaxia has been sunk into Moraea. This former genus in the Iridaceae family is distributed from the Bredasdorp District of the western Cape to northern Namaqualand in the northern Cape of South Africa. There are 16 species included in what is now labeled as section or group Galaxia. There are those who feel that it should have been kept a separate genus since it looks so different from some of the other genera that are now included in Moraea. These are for the most part very short plants with solitary flowers. Species in this group are found on this wiki page. Information and pictures of the other groups can be found by clicking on these groups or the Moraea group pages listed below or found in the Moraea index where all species are listed alphabetically.


Moraea albiflora (syn. Galaxia albiflora) is found on sand or granite or limestone outcrops in the southern Cape. It grows to 3 cm high and has white flowers with a yellow center. Photo from Andrew Harvie.

Moraea albiflora, Andrew Harvie

Moraea barnardiella (syn. Galaxia barnardii) is found on clay flats and hills in the southwest Cape. It is a short plant with pink to purple flowers with a blackish center. Photos by Rod Saunders and Audrey Cain.

Moraea barnardiella, Rod SaundersMoraea barnardiella, Audrey Cain

Moraea citrina (syn. Galaxia citrina) is a short stemless plant from the northwest Cape where it is found in shallow, sandy or stony soils. It blooms winter to spring and has yellow flowers in a basal tuft with the filaments united in a column. The first photo was taken by Alan Horstmann. The next two were taken September 2012 near Nieuwoudtville by Cameron McMaster and identified as this species by John Manning. The species is typically plain yellow, with a couple of populations on the Bokkeveld Mountains only noted as having dark markings. This is the first record of a color shift to orange.

Moraea citrina, Alan HorstmannMoraea citrina, Nieuwoudtville, Cameron McMasterMoraea citrina, Nieuwoudtville, Cameron McMaster

Moraea fugacissima (syn. Galaxia fugacissima) is found on wet sand and clay flats from Namaqualand to Humansdorp. It has short-lived fragrant yellow flowers with fringed style lobes and filaments united in a column. Leaves are linear to terete and more or less erect. When grown in captivity, a potful of M. fugacissima will often burst into bloom the day after watering, but check them in the morning as the flowers will be gone by afternoon. Photos by Rod Saunders and Cameron McMaster. The last is a habitat shot.

Moraea fugacissima, Rod SaundersMoraea fugacissima, Cameron McMasterMoraea fugasissima, Kamieskroon, Cameron McMasterMoraea fugacissima habitat, Cameron McMaster

Moraea galaxia (syn. Galaxia ovata) is a short plant with yellow flowers in a basal tuft growing on flats and plateaus, mainly on sandstone soils in the winter rainfall areas of South Africa. It has ovate prostrate leaves. Bloom time can be from winter to early spring. Photographed by Bill Dijk, Alan Horstmann, and Cameron McMaster.

Moraea galaxia, Bill DijkMoraea galaxia, Alan HorstmannMoraea galaxia, Alan HorstmannMoraea galaxia, Cameron McMaster

Moraea luteoalba (syn. Galaxia luteoalba) is a short stemless plant with yellow flowers fading to white at the edges arranged in a basal tuft. It has ovate prostrate leaves with hairy margins. It is found in sandstone outcrops in the northwestern Cape and blooms winter to spring. Photo by Alan Horstmann.

Moraea luteoalba, Alan Horstmann

Moraea melanops was recognized as a new species in 2000. It resembles M. versicolor but is distinguished by its purple to lilac perianth with a dark purple-black center and stamens that are partly to entirely free. It has tepals that spread and do not form a floral cup. The first two photos were taken by Alan Horstmann and the last two by Cameron McMaster. The latter were taken in the Overberg.

Moraea melanops, Alan HorstmannMoraea melanops, Alan HorstmannMoraea melanops, Cameron McMasterMoraea melanops, Cameron McMaster

Moraea versicolor (syn. Galaxia versicolor) is a short plant with pink flowers with a yellow center. It grows on clay and granite flats and slopes in the southwestern Cape and blooms late winter-early spring. This plant grown by Rod Saunders and Rachel Saunders was photographed by Bob Rutemoeller September 2003 in South Africa.

Moraea versicolor, Bob Rutemoeller

Moraea vuvuzela is a recently-named species known from two locations near Worcester. It has cream-colored flowers, dark nectar guides, and a yellow throat. The species was named after the South African air horns brought to the world's attention by their indiscriminate use during the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament. Pictures and more information can be found here.


Gynandriris - Hexaglottis - Homeria A-J - Homeria K-Z - Moraea group A - Moraea group B - Moraea group C-E - Moraea group F - Moraea group G-I - Moraea group J-M - Moraea group N-R - Moraea group S - Moraea group T - Moraea group U-V - Moraea hybrids - Moraea index


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Page last modified on October 27, 2012, at 07:46 AM