Moraea index lists all the species in all five groups alphabetically.
Moraea group species N-R are found on this wiki page.
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 G-I - Moraea group J-M - Moraea group S - Moraea group T - Moraea group U-V
Moraea natalensis grows in seasonally wet exposed areas from KwaZulu-Natal to tropical Africa. The lilac to blue violet flowers with yellow nectar guide edged with a mauve outline bloom in summer. Flowers open late morning. Photo by Audrey Cain.
Moraea neglecta is found growing in deep sandy soils in the northwest and southwest Cape and the Agulhas coast blooming in spring. It has large yellow flowers with penciling on the nectar guide and opens at mid day. The first picture was taken by Bob Rutemoeller in the Bontebok National Park in September 2003 where it was blooming close to the road. The other pictures were taken by Cameron McMaster in the Overberg, at Boskloof, Fairfield, and Napier. The last pictures show the seed capsules.
Moraea neopavonia is now considered to be part of the species Moraea tulbaghensis by Manning and Goldblatt. This form has larger flowers that open more fully, some of them with a bright blue nectar guide. Because of the differences, some growers still use the old name for their plants (for a full discussion of the differences, see the listing for M. tulbaghensis). It is from the northwest and southwest Cape where it grows in clay flats in renosterveld and blooms in spring. This is a rare plant as most of its former habitat has been converted to farmland. The first picture, by Lyn Edwards, is of one grown in her Canberra garden. The next two were taken by Alan Horstmann. The final three were taken by Mary Sue Ittner. She writes: "It was in bud for four or five days and I thought it would never open. I finally moved it to a place out of the wind that was warmer and it opened and stayed in bloom for many days afterwards and a second flower opened as well."
The photos below show some variations seen in the wild by Colin Paterson-Jones. The first photo shows a spotted form, found at De Brug, Western Cape. The second photo is of a red form, which Colin believes is probably a natural hybrid with Moraea villosa. It was found at the Elandsberg Nature Reserve.
Moraea papilionacea grows on mostly sandstone soils, sometimes granite or clay, in renosterveld and transitional fynbos in the south and southwest Cape. It flowers late winter to spring and is usually hairy with yellow or salmon flowers with yellow nectar guides. Flowers are fugacious. These pictures were taken near Paarl by Bob Rutemoeller September 2003 where there were many different color forms growing in the same location, salmon, yellow, and bicolored.
More photos by Bob Werra.
Moraea petricola. Purple flowers with white nectar guides edged in dark purple. The inner tepals have three lobes, the central one long and bent at an angle. Looks similar to M. decipiens, but with several differences in anatomical details. Blooms in spring (October-November) in the mountains north of Parkhuis Pass.
Moraea polyanthos is found growing on flats and lower slopes, mainly clay, in a wide area that can have year round rainfall, winter rainfall, and summer rainfall. Blooming time varies depending on its habitat. Flowers open midday and close as the sun sets. Although individual flowers last only a single day, the plant can have several open at once, and can bloom for a period of several months, making a nice if not spectacular show. In California, when grown with winter water, this is one of the last of the winter rainfall Moraea species to bloom, usually starting in late spring and blooming well into the summer if kept watered. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner and Alan Horstmann.
Moraea polystachya is a vigorous species from the winter and summer rainfall areas of southern Africa. It is beloved by many members of the PBS mailing list who live in Mediterranean climates, because when happy it produces large numbers of short-lived flowers over a long period from fall to early winter, a time when most other Moraeas are barely putting up leaves. Unfortunately it's not as successful in very cold climates or those with year-round rain. If you're growing this species in captivity, keep it dry at the start of summer but start watering it in mid-summer to get the longest bloom period (see cultural notes below). This species is reportedly poisonous to livestock, so be careful not to let it escape into the wild (more information here). The first photo was taken by Sheila Burrow, the second by Bill Dijk, the third by Bob Rutemoeller, and the fourth taken in habitat in the Eastern Cape by Cameron McMaster. The fifth and sixth were taken by Michael Mace. The fifth shows subtle variations in flower shape and nectar guide color.
Moraea pseudospicata is found on stony clay slopes in karroid scrub in the Bokkeveld Plateau. It has a long since trailing leaf, often dry at flowering. The stem gets about 40-50 cm tall and the flower is only about 20 mm across. Photo by Andrew Harvie who has seen this flowering only twice in 12 years (6 years apart) he has been growing it. It flowers in mid summer after it has gone dormant. He speculates being late in covering up his winter rainfall bulbs and summer rain helped bring it into bloom in 2012.
Moraea pubiflora is a summer-growing species native to Swaziland and the eastern Transvaal, where it grows in mountain grassland. The flowers are white to pale blue, and have unusually long, speckled inner tepals. Photograph by K Braun for the Swaziland National Trust Commission.
Moraea ramosissima grows on damp sandy or stony flats and slopes from the Gifberg to the Eastern Cape. It is a tall plant with yellow flowers that blooms spring into summer. Deemed a shy bloomer, it appeas to be a plant that responds to fire. The first photo below by Mary Sue Ittner shows leaves appearing after a fire near Bainskloof where there were no signs of this plant in previous years. The second photo by Rachel Saunders shows it blooming in profusion in Bainskloof November 2012 in another year after another fire. The last photo from Cameron McMaster taken near Napier in the Overberg shows the flower.
Moraea regalis is a striking purple flower with a tiny white nectar guide and elongated crests and inner tepals that look a bit like purple antlers. It's known from a single site on a south-facing rocky slope near the town of De Rust in the Little Karoo. The habitat is reportedly in degraded condition. This species blooms in spring, and is probably related to M. unguiculata and M. algoensis. We're not aware of any reports that it's being grown in cultivation, but if you're lucky enough to obtain it, note that its native climate is a near-desert with almost year-round rainfall. The area may get a brief day spell in mid-summer for a month or two, but otherwise rainfall is consistent and relatively light throughout the year. A photo of the flower can be seen here.
Moraea reticulata has a solitary habit (not clumping like some of the other yellow summer rainfall species.) It has a fibrous network like a fishnet enclosing the base of the stem and bracts. The flowers are bright yellow with orange nectar guides and a few darker veins on the outer tepals. Described first in 1973, it is an Eastern Cape species where it occurs on steep grassy slopes. Photos by Cameron McMaster showing a habitat shot and a close-up of the flower.
Moraea rivulicola Cream, greenish, or beige flowers with dull yellow nectar guides. Grows in seasonal stream beds and drainage ditches in the extremely dry winter-rainfall desert of northern Namaqualand, west of the town of Springbok. Blooms in spring. The flowers look similar to M. unguiculata, but are larger, and the plants grow in wetter areas. You can see the herbarium sheet here.
Galaxia - 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 S - Moraea group T - Moraea group U-V - Moraea hybrids - Moraea index