Moraea Species Three

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

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


Moraea caeca Barnard ex Goldblatt grows on rocky sandstone slopes in fynbos in the northwest Cape. It has a single linear trailing leaf and mauve flowers. The tepals are unequal; the outer tepals have a small dark or yellow nectar guide. It blooms in spring. Although not endangered in the wild, this one is very rare in commerce, and is reputed to be difficult to grow. Photo by Alan Horstmann.

Moraea caeca, Alan Horstmann

Moraea calcicola Goldblatt grows on limestone hills in the southwest Cape and blooms in late winter early spring. In the wild it is reportedly found in only three locations with fewer than 200 mature plants. It is occasionally offered in commerce, and is relatively easy to grow. M. calcicola has mauve to purple flowers with dark blue nectar guides. The first three photos were taken by Bob Werra, the fourth by Jana Ulmer of the first bloom from Bob Werra seed in March 2005, the fifth by Alan Horstmann, and the sixth by Michael Mace. The final photo from Cameron McMaster was taken in the southwest Cape in September 2011.

Moraea calcicola, Bob WerraMoraea calcicola, Bob WerraMoraea calcicola, Bob WerraMoraea calcicola, Jana UlmerMoraea calcicola, Alan HorstmannMoraea calcicola, Michael MaceMoraea calcicola, Cameron McMaster

Moraea cantharophila Goldblatt & J.C.ManningĀ is found in well drained rocky granitic, sandstone and shale slopes in fynbos in the southwestern Cape winter rainfall area from Sir Lowry's Pass to Sandy's Glen. Part of the subgenus Vieusseuxia, this species flowers best after a fire. It is unusual with relatively large inner tepals with a brown median streak at the claw. The flowers are white or cream with outer tepals darkly veined with yellow at the base, style branches browinish with salmon edges, crests salmon. This species is most closely related to Moraea lurida and it differs by a shallower floral cup and unscented nectarless flowers. Photos taken September 2016 near Sandy's Glen by Cameron McMaster.

Moraea cantharophila, Cameron McMasterMoraea cantharophila, Cameron McMasterMoraea cantharophila, Cameron McMaster

Moraea ciliata (L.f.) Ker Gawl. grows on sandy and clay slopes in the winter rainfall areas. It can be blue or yellow or rarely white. The first photo below was taken by Mary Sue Ittner who has found this species rarely blooms for her. The second photo was taken by Michael Mace. The third and fourth, by Bob Werra, illustrate how hairy the foliage on this one can be. Each flower lasts a single day, opening soon after dawn and closing in the evening. The fifth photo, by M. Gastil-Buhl shows the first of at least four flowers to emerge from the single 4.5 cm tall spathe. The two corms and 15 cormlets in the sixth photo on a 1 mm grid are all from that one plant.

Moraea ciliata, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea ciliata, Michael MaceMoraea ciliata, Bob WerraMoraea ciliata, Bob WerraMoraea ciliata, M. Gastil-BuhlMoraea ciliata, M. Gastil-Buhl

Three photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller near Middelpos in the Roggeveld September 2006 show variations in color and leaves. A fourth by Mary Sue Ittner is of a yellow form photographed at the same time and place. A fifth and sixth were taken in Sutherland and Middelpos also in the Roggeveld by Cameron McMaster.

Moraea ciliata, Bob RutemoellerMoraea ciliata, Bob RutemoellerMoraea ciliata, Bob RutemoellerMoraea ciliata, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea ciliata, Cameron McMasterMoraea ciliata, Cameron McMaster

Moraea cooperi Baker is a rare plant found on rocky sandstone slopes and flats, often near water, in the southwestern and northwestern Cape. It has large yellow flowers delicately purple-veined with only three tepals united in a well developed tube. It flowers in spring. The first photo was taken by Cameron McMaster in the Overberg and the second by Rod Saunders. Photos three and four were taken between Bainskloof & Breerivier in the Western Cape by Andrew Harvie.

Moraea cooperi, Cameron McMasterMoraea cooperi, Rod SaundersMoraea cooperi, Andrew HarvieMoraea cooperi, Andrew Harvie

Moraea crispa Ker is found in the Karoo and interior Cape mountains on clay or sandy flats and slopes. It has a single leaf and blue-mauve flowers a little larger than a US quarter with yellow to orange nectar guides. The flowers are unusual, looking like a pinwheel. They lack the paired erect crests found in many Moraeas. The flowers open late afternoon and only last a day, but the plant continues to send up new blooms for two weeks. I started with three 15 yrs. ago and have only one left. However, it has bloomed alone for the past 10 yrs. neglected, without fertilizer. It hasn't produced additional corms as so many other species do. The first photo by Bob Werra. The next two photos were taken in the Roggeveld by Andrew Harvie. Corm photo by Michael Mace.

Moraea crispa, Bob WerraMoraea crispa, Roggeveld Mountains, Andrew HarvieMoraea crispa, Roggeveld Mountains, Andrew HarvieMoraea crispa corms, Michael Mace

Moraea debilis Goldblatt is a winter-growing species with small purple flowers marked with a white nectar guide. Grows in the Caledon area and blooms in late spring (September to October in South Africa). Probably related to M. tripetala. Photo by Ray Mills, courtesy of the Species Iris Group of North America.

Moraea debilis, Ray Mills

Moraea deltoidea Goldblatt & J.C.Manning grows in the winter near Hermanus on south-facing sandstone slopes, flowering after fires. It is probably related to Moraea unguiculata. Flowers are pale cream with dark speckles on the outer tepal.


Moraea dracomontana Goldblatt is a summer-growing species native the Drakensberg Mountains near Witsieshoek. It has bluish-purple flowers with yellow nectar guides. This species is apparently related to Moraea modesta, but grows in damper sites.


Moraea elliotii Baker is found on grassy sandstone slopes from Mossel Bay to Malawi. It has a single leaf and blue-violet flowers with yellow nectar guides. It flowers in spring. It sometimes has been confused in cultivation with Moraea setifolia. The first two photos taken by Cameron McMaster. The next four photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller and Cameron McMaster at Gaika's Kop, January 2010. This area had burned previously.

Moraea elliotii, Cameron McMasterMoraea elliotii, Cameron McMasterMoraea elliotii, Gaika's Kop, Bob RutemoellerMoraea elliotii, Gaika's Kop, Bob RutemoellerMoraea elliotii, Gaika's Kop, Bob RutemoellerMoraea elliotii, Gaika's Kop, Cameron McMaster

Moraea elsiae Goldblatt is a small plant native to the Cape area, where it grows on sandy lowland flats. Although it was collected from numerous sites in the past, most of the locations have now been built on or converted to farmland. There is speculation that M. elsiae probably grows today in fewer than 10 locations, and it has been classified at a vulnerable species. The plant has a distinctive branching pattern, sticky stems, brown tips to its spathes, and the flowers lack the style crests found in most Moraea species. Flowers open at midday and close at dusk. When grown in California, this species does most of its growing in spring, and blooms in early to mid-summer (June to July). This makes it one of the latest bloomers of the winter-growing Moraeas. If you grow it in pots, you should probably plan to water it longer into summer than most other mediterranean-climate bulbs.

Moraea elsiae, Michael MaceMoraea elsiae, Michael Mace

Galaxia - Gynandriris - Hexaglottis - Homeria A-J - Homeria K-Z - Moraea group A - Moraea group B - Moraea group F - Moraea group G-I - 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 September 18, 2016, at 08:15 AM