Moraea Species Five

The genus Moraea can be divided into five groups: Galaxia, Gynandriris, Hexaglottis, Homeria, and Moraea.

Moraea group species G-I are found on this wiki page.


Moraea index lists all the species in all five groups alphabetically.


The other species in the Moraea group are listed alphabetically on these wiki pages: Moraea group A - Moraea group B - Moraea group C-E - Moraea group F - Moraea group J-M - Moraea group N-R - Moraea group S - Moraea group T - Moraea group U-V - Moraea hybrids


Moraea gawleri is widespread in the Cape province and is found growing on sandy or clay slopes, usually in Renosterveld. It has linear channeled leaves and yellow, cream, or brick red small short lived flowers that appear in late winter-spring. These photos by Bob Rutemoeller were taken in September 2003 in South Africa. The first was taken in the Little Karoo and the second in Bontebok National Park and gives you an idea of the size of the flowers. The third photo is of a plant in cultivation taken by Bob Werra. The last two photos are of a bright bicolored form found in a pot of otherwise typical yellow M. gawleri. The brightly colored form is about a third larger than the typical plants, but vegetatively looks the same. Photos by Michael Mace.

Moraea gawleri, Little Karoo, Bob RutemoellerMoraea gawleri, Bontebok, Bob RutemoellerMoraea gawleri, Bob WerraMoraea gawleri, Michael MaceMoraea gawleri, Michael Mace

The first of three photos below taken September 2006 by Mary Sue Ittner was taken near Nieuwoudtville and the second and third near Clanwilliam where they were growing along a moist bank next to the road. The fourth photograph from Bob Rutemoeller was taken at that same spot. The last two photos were taken by Cameron McMaster September 2011 near the Pakhuis Pass and in Namaqualand.

Moraea gawleri, Nieuwoudtville, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea gawleri, Clanwilliam, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea gawleri, Clanwilliam, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea gawleri, Clanwilliam, Bob RutemoellerMoraea gawleri, Pakhuis Pass, Cameron McMasterMoraea gawleri, Namaqualand, Cameron McMaster

A very desirable color is the brick red form found in the West Coast near Darling. First three photos by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner from September 2006. Fourth photo was taken in California by Michael Mace.

Moraea gawleri, West Coast, Bob RutemoellerMoraea gawleri, West Coast, Bob RutemoellerMoraea gawleri, West Coast, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea gawleri, Michael Mace

Moraea gigandra is a strikingly beautiful Moraea that is endangered in the wild, surviving only on a few isolated sites on steep stony slopes in heavy clay soil in the northwestern Cape. It has been easy to grow in Northern California in a raised bed, dry in summer. This species has one of the largest flowers in the genus. Peter Goldblatt's book on Moraeas reports that these plants can also be found in orange and white, but we're not aware of any photographs of them, let alone plants in cultivation. There is, though, a slight variation on the purple form, shown in the fourth photo. This flower is even larger than the usual form and has paler petals (the flower in the photograph is newly-opened and will fade in the sun). The blue nectar guide can barely be seen, but the flower has a distinct white ring around the center. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner , Bob Rutemoeller, Alan Horstmann, Michael Mace and M. Gastil-Buhl. Corms in photo 6 grown by Telos Rare Bulbs.

Moraea gigandra, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea gigandra, Bob RutemoellerMoraea gigandra, Alan HorstmannMoraea gigandra, white ring form, Michael MaceMoraea gigandra corm, Michael MaceMoraea gigandra corms, M. Gastil-Buhl

Moraea graminicola grows in open grassland in the Eastern Cape. It has a solitary leaf and yellow gray flowers. There are two subspecies. Moraea graminicola ssp. graminicola is found in KwaZulu-Natal. It has no blotches on the crests.

Moraea graminicola ssp. notata is a more southern subspecies found in the Amatola Mountains. It has dark blotches at the base of the crests. A dark mauve band from which mauve veins radiate out surrounds the deep yellow nectar guides. Photos by Cameron McMaster

Moraea graminicola, Cameron McMasterMoraea graminicola, Cameron McMaster

Moraea herrei, syn. Barnardiella spiralis was once considered the lone species of Barnardiella. It is now included in the Moraea subgroup. It has purple spreading flowers with rounded tips. It flowers in spring and is found in Namaqualand. First photo by Rod Saunders. Other photos by Gordon Summerfield.

Moraea herrei, Rod SaundersMoraea herrei, Gordon SummerfieldMoraea herrei, Gordon Summerfield

Moraea hiemalis I was delighted to come across a small colony of this rare plant flowering in the depths of winter beside a pine plantation in the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal. The rich golden colour of the flowers is very striking set against the drab wintery landscape. Sadly this site has now been destroyed by logging! Photos by Rogan Roth.

Moraea hiemalis, Rogan RothMoraea hiemalis, Rogan Roth

Moraea huttonii is a summer rainfall species that blooms in early spring where it grows in prolific clumps on the banks of mountain streams. It occurs from the Amatola Mountains in the south, along the Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Nataland into southern Mpumalanga. It has a branched stem which sets it apart from the other yellow summer rainfall species. It is large with a flowering stem about 80 cm tall and a leaf that can reach 150 cm long. Scented flowers are a clear bright yellow with yellow-brown nectar guides and darker veins on the outer tepals. The first photo was taken by Cameron McMaster and the second from Mary Sue Ittner was taken in the Eastern Cape in September where it was growing so close to the river that the soil most surely remained moist year round which no doubt explained why it was doing well since it was late winter and very dry in that area during that time of the year. The last two photos were taken by Paul Tyerman. He writes: "This very iris-like Moraea is evergreen for me. Flowers are held on rigidly upright stems and make an interesting display in late October."

Moraea huttonii, Cameron McMasterMoraea huttonii, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea huttonii, Paul TyermanMoraea huttonii, Paul Tyerman

Moraea hybrids in this group can be found on the Moraea hybrids wiki page.


Moraea inclinata grows in damp grassland in the Natal Midlands and the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal and in the northeastern Transkei. It has a long slender stem with a single leaf inserted well above the ground near the stem apex. The large blue-violet flowers with yellow nectar guides have reflexed limbs. It flowers in summer with plants on lower elevations flowering earlier. Photos taken by Mary Sue Ittner, Bob Rutemoeller, and Cameron McMaster at Satansnek Pass in the Eastern Cape January 2010.

Moraea inclinata, Satansnek, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea inclinata, Satansnek, Bob RutemoellerMoraea inclinata, Satansnek, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea inclinata, Satansnek, Cameron McMaster

Moraea inconspicua is widespread in the Cape and found on sandy and clay slopes flowering in spring. It has two or three linear leaves and tiny yellow to brown or cream flowers with reflexed outer tepals. Photographs taken by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner in Namaqualand September 2006 and by Cameron McMaster near Napier in the Overberg.

Moraea inconspicua, Namaqualand, Bob RutemoellerMoraea inconspicua, Namaqualand, Bob RutemoellerMoraea inconspicua, Namaqualand, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea inconspicua, Napier, Cameron McMasterMoraea inconspicua, Napier, Cameron McMaster

Moraea incurva is a winter-growing species native to a small area near Tulbagh. It grows in heavy gravelly-clay soil among loose smooth stones and has a single smooth linear leaf. The flowers are varying shades of violet with conspicuous cream nectar guides on the outer tepals. It looks a bit like Moraea tripetala but has distinctive incurving broad limbs to its inner tepals. A photograph can be seen here.


Moraea insolens is a rare species known only from three small populations near Caledon where it grows on clay slopes in renosterveld. It flowers well only after a fire or when vegetation around it has been cleared. It is a beautiful species that grows from 20 to 35 cm high and has deep orange or cream flowers with a brown center. Flowers are different from many Moraea subgroup species, looking more like a Homeria subgroup flower with the tepal claws broad and spreading. First photo by Rod Saunders. The second photo shows the cream form, with a monkey beetle on it. Photo by Colin Paterson-Jones.

Moraea insolens, Rod SaundersMoraea insolens, white form, Colin Paterson-Jones

Moraea intermedia described by Goldblatt and Manning in 2010 is a rare species found in open sandy places among granite outcrops in Namaqualand near Springbok. It is a member of the small section Tubiflora. Photos taken in Namaqualand by Cameron McMaster September 2011.

Moraea intermedia, Namaqualand, Cameron McMasterMoraea intermedia, Namaqualand, Cameron McMaster

The other species in the Moraea group are listed alphabetically on these wiki pages: Moraea group A - Moraea group B - Moraea group C-E - Moraea group F - 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 February 28, 2015, at 05:03 PM