Moraea MM 03-05

The parents   Seed parent: Moraea aristata   X   Pollen parent: MM 99-00 (atropunctata? x neopavonia)

Moraea aristata, Lee PoulsenX Moraea MM 99-00a (atropunctata? × neopavonia), Michael Mace

The offspring

Moraea aristata × (atropunctata × neopavonia) (mm-03-05a), Michael MaceMoraea aristata × (atropunctata × neopavonia) (mm-03-05a), Michael MaceMoraea MM-03-05b (aristata X MM 99-00 (atropunctata? × neopavonia) ), Michael MaceMoraea MM-03-05b (aristata X MM 99-00 (atropunctata? × neopavonia) ), with four tepals, Michael MaceMoraea MM-03-05c (aristata X MM 99-00 (atropunctata? × neopavonia) ), Michael Mace

MM 03-05a (first two photos) looks a lot like a pale yellow form of Moraea aristata (the tepals fade to white after a couple of days in the sun). It's pretty, blooms vigorously, and makes a fair number of offsets. What it won't do is breed with others. The flowers have almost no pollen, and what little they have looks like paint flecks. They also will not produce seeds, despite 21 crosses I've attempted. Note the delicate purple spots on the backs of the tepals.

MM 03-05b (third and fourth photos). The most interesting thing about this plant is that it produces flowers with four tepals fairly frequently. It's a characteristic I'd like to breed for. The plants are vigorous and have a long blooming period. This cross produces a lot of good-looking pollen, but it sets seed in only about 1/4 of the cases. As a seed parent it's a little better; I've had five successful crosses out of about 15 attempts.

MM 03-05c (fifth photo). This one looks a lot like form b, but the nectar guide at the center of the flower is shaped differently. It bloomed only one year. I don't know if the corm died, or is still hiding in a pot somewhere. At any rate, it is not a vigorous plant, but its pollen was successful on several other plants in the one year it bloomed, and it set seeds from two crosses. So its children live on.

This is a tantalizing cross that has caused me a lot of frustration. Form A has striking colors but no fertility. The other two are more fertile, but not as interesting to look at.

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