Moraea Species Six

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

Moraea group species J-M 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 G-I - Moraea group N-R - Moraea group S - Moraea group T - Moraea group U-V


Moraea lazulina. Blue flowers with white nectar guides, each flower lasting a single day, blooming in spring (September-October). This species is widespread in the Little Karoo. It looks similar to M. exiliflora, but is larger and differs in details of flower color, form, and measurements of various plant parts.


Moraea lilacina. Pale pink fading to darker pink with age, yellow nectar guide. Grows in winter, northwest of Robinson's Pass, in loamy soil. Probably related to M. unguiculata.


Moraea loubseri is a winter growing species found on limestone and calcareous sand in the southwest Cape. It was discovered in 1973 by Johan Loubser, who found it on Olifantskop, in a site which had been partially mined for a quarry. It has never been found at another location. Although its site is now protected, its numbers are extremely small, and in the mid-2000s it was feared to be extinct. In 2013, a total of 14 plants with four seed pods were spotted by the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers, a volunteer conservation group in South Africa. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to grow in cultivation with normal mediterranean-climate treatment. This specimen was grown in Northern California and the first photograph below is from Bob Rutemoeller. The second was taken March 2004 by Lee Poulsen, the third by Bill Dijk and the fourth by Alan Horstmann. The last two photos illustrate the bizarre coloration of M. loubseri. The center of the flower is translucent green, covered in glossy black hairs. At the outer edge of the translucent region is a deep blue nectar guide, also covered in hairs. The rest of the tepal is purple and mostly hairless. Photos by Michael Mace.

Moraea loubseri, Bob RutemoellerMoraea loubseri, Lee PoulsenMoraea loubseri, Bill DijkMoraea loubseri, Alan HorstmannMoraea loubseri, Michael MaceMoraea loubseri, Michael Mace

Moraea longiaristata. Grows above Caledon in the winter. Small white flowers with blue speckles, and long straight inner tepals. Probably closely related to M. barnardii. You can see a nice photograph of the flower, along with more information, here.


Moraea lugubris is found on mostly damp sandstone soils and it flowers in late winter into spring and has blue short lived flowers. The first photo by Bob Rutemoeller shows flowering plants in Gordon Summerfield's collection. The other photos were taken September 2003 by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner in the Darling reserve, West Coast, South Africa. Corm photo by Michael Mace.

Moraea lugubris, Bob RutemoellerMoraea lugubris, Bob RutemoellerMoraea lugubris, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea lugubris, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea lugubris corms, Michael Mace

Moraea lurida is a winter rainfall species that grows in rocky sandstone and granitic slopes in fynbos in the southwestern Cape. In the wild it blooms in spring, mainly after fire when the vegetation is cleared, giving it light. The flowers are said to be foul-smelling, and are pollinated by flies. This species is easily grown from seed and multiplies rapidly. In drier parts of California, it seems to do better if given copious water, including possibly some water in summer to keep the corms from drying out too much. It blooms a bit later than the other spring-blooming Moraeas, in late April-May. Photo 1 was taken by Mary Sue Ittner in northern California. Photo 2 was taken by Sheila Burrow from Western Australia. Photo 3 was taken by Audrey Cain from the UK. Photo 4 was taken by Nhu Nguyen showing the profile of the flower.

Moraea lurida, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea lurida, Sheila BurrowMoraea lurida, Audrey CainMoraea lurida, Nhu Nguyen

Although M. lurida flowers are usually reported in the shades of maroon and pale yellow shown above, in some areas they can be quite variable.

These photos by Cameron McMaster show many different color forms seen near Napier and in the Overberg.

Moraea lurida, Cameron McMasterMoraea lurida, Cameron McMasterMoraea lurida, Cameron McMasterMoraea lurida, Cameron McMaster

Maarten Groos, manager of a nature retreat called Farm 215 in the Southern Overberg, took these photos on the grounds of Farm 215:

Moraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten Groos

More photographs by Cameron McMaster

Moraea lurida, Cameron McMasterMoraea lurida, Cameron McMasterMoraea lurida, Cameron McMasterMoraea lurida, Cameron McMaster

More photographs by Maarten Groos

Moraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten Groos
Moraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten Groos
Moraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten GroosMoraea lurida, Maarten Groos

Moraea macrocarpa is found on the northwest Cape where it grows in deep sand in arid fynbos. It flowers in spring. It is 8 to 12 cm. high and has short lived violet flowers with yellow nectar guides on the outer tepals. Photo by Audrey Cain.

Moraea macrocarpa, Audrey Cain

Moraea macronyx is found on rocky sandstone slopes in the Cape Province. It has yellow and white short lived flowers with yellow spotted nectar guides and blooms in spring. First four photos by Bob Werra, fifth by Michael Mace.

Moraea macronyx, by Bob WerraMoraea macronyx, by Bob WerraMoraea macronyx, by Bob WerraMoraea macronyx, by Bob WerraMoraea macronyx, by Michael MaceMoraea macronyx corms, Michael Mace

Habitat pictures from the Komsberg in the Roggeveld. The first photo by Cameron McMaster and the second taken in the same place September 2006 by Mary Sue Ittner.

Moraea macronyx, Cameron McMasterMoraea macronyx, Mary Sue Ittner

Moraea marionae. White or pale bluish flowers marked with veins. Native to the summer rainfall part of South Africa, it blooms in the spring (at the start of the rainy season), with the leaf growing after flowering. We're not aware of any online photographs of this species, but you can see the herbarium sheet here.


Moraea modesta grows in mountain grassland in Eastern Southern Africa including KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, and Lesotho. It flowers early in the summer rainfall areas in spring before the rains have started and has small flowers that are white to pale mauve, veined or flushed purple on the reverse and with yellow nectar guides. It grows from 10 to 20 cm. tall and flowers before the single leaf. Photo by Cameron McMaster taken in the Eastern Cape.

Moraea modesta, Tiffendell, Cameron McMaster

Moraea muddii , a summer rainfall species, occurs in the higher grassland parts of the Amatola Mountains and in the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal and up into Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe. It is seldom taller than 40 cm., does not form clumps, and has a channeled narrow leaf 3-6 cm wide. Flowers are pale yellow with a darker yellow nectar guide. Habitat photos taken by Cameron McMaster in the Eastern Cape. The last one was taken at Gaika's Kop.

Moraea muddii, Dohne Peak, Cameron McMasterMoraea muddii, Amatola Mountains, Cameron McMasterMoraea muddii, Gaika's Kop, Cameron McMaster

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 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, 2014, at 02:50 PM