Moraea MM 09-02

The parents   Seed parent: Moraea aristata   X   Pollen parent: Moraea villosa, form not specified

Moraea aristata, Lee PoulsenX Moraea villosa form A, Michael Mace

The offspring

Moraea MM 09-02a (aristata x villosa), Michael MaceMoraea MM 09-02b (aristata x villosa), Michael MaceMoraea MM 09-02c (aristata x villosa), Michael MaceMoraea MM 09-02d (aristata x villosa), Michael Mace

MM 09-02a (first photo). As you can see from the quarter I'm holding, this is one very big Moraea. Its pollen is fairly fertile (four successful crosses out of seven attempts), and it's a pretty good seed parent (four out of six, including a successful self-fertilization). The blue eye in this flower fades to bleached-out purple after a few days in the sun. Before MM 09-02b bloomed (second photo), I thought all of the 09-02 offspring would look about the same, but to my surprise they have different color schemes. I presume that means that my Moraea villosa plants have some interesting recessive genes in them. This one has a blue eye and yellow center, like a giant form of Moraea villosa b. MM 09-02c (third photo) opens with tepals a bit lighter than 09-02a, but otherwise it's quite similar. The blue eye does not fade in the sun. MM 09-02d (fourth photo): The eye on this one is nearly black (in person it's extremely dark blue).

Visually this isn't the most striking hybrid, but in other ways I think it's important. This is the most vigorous Moraea I've seen to date. The corms produce about two offsets each per year, the leaves are notably bigger and darker green than the other Moraeas, and the flowers are huge. So M. aristata added vigor to the cross, but not appearance: the flowers look pretty much like upsized versions of M. villosa.

Although some of these flowers look white in the photos, in person they're very pale blue.

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