Moraeas in bloom

Tony Avent
Thu, 08 May 2003 13:13:41 PDT
Dear All:

	I thought I would add a couple of bulb notes after our winter, where we
experienced a winter low of 9 degrees F, but with a very wet and prolonged
cold.  The Hieronymiella aurea from the seed that I distributed last year
have returned in the ground outdoors.  The hippeastrums from our Argentina
expedition also returned in the ground.  Since we are talking about moreas,
M. huttonii is in flower today...also winter hardy here.

At 07:49 AM 5/8/2003 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear All,
>In between rainstorms my Moraeas (Homeria subgroups) have been so beautiful 
>mixed with Iris douglasiana, Babianas, some hybrid Ixias. I keep finding 
>ones that are just a little different, but think there should be a limit to 
>how many pictures of them I put on the Wiki. But I did put a new picture of 
>massed yellow ones:
>Like Jana I am having my first bloom this year from Bill Dijk seed of 
>Moraea fugax. I really like it. Ours are yellow, but I saw blues one when 
>in South Africa so have added a picture from one of my slides of one we saw 
>on the West Coast, one of the few flowers open on a very cold, cloudy, off 
>and on again rainy day.
>Also blooming really well and in great abundance this year for me is Moraea 
>bellendenii. This is one I grew in a container for years and all it did was 
>split into many small corms. Finally I gave up and planted them in the 
>ground. They didn't bloom for years until I forgot about them and then had 
>to figure out what they were. They don't bloom every year and didn't last 
>year. One never knows for sure with Moraeas. They are very tall and yellow. 
>Also blooming is one that I wasn't sure I had anymore since I haven't seen 
>it for several years, Moraea tricuspidata. It is very similar to M. 
>bellendenii and blooms late too, but is white and a little shorter. I 
>remember Mike Mace saying once that he had especially good blooms from 
>Moraeas in very wet years and extra watering in dry years didn't seem to 
>produce the same results. Perhaps this year they (and the Homerias) are 
>delighting in the late rains.
>There are lots of spikes on Moraea lurida which hasn't bloomed yet. I still 
>haven't had a lurid one. Mine have all been yellow. I have given lots away 
>to previous BXs always hoping I wasn't giving away one that had wonderful 
>markings or color. Mine always bloom even though this one has a reputation 
>for blooming better after fire. We saw some in the wild in a burn area and 
>there were many different color forms, including a lurid purple looking 
>one. So I guess if mine are all yellow this year I'll have to dig out those 
>slides to show everyone other color choices.
>Also blooming is Moraea setifolia. This one was formerly a Gynandriris. It 
>was one of the first South African bulbs I ever grew and I used to grow it 
>in a very small container and in spite of that it would bloom, but only 
>opened around 1 p.m. and closed around 4 p.m. so I took it with me to work 
>so I wouldn't miss it. In Pasadena last May I purchased a couple of Moraea 
>thomsonii corms from Bill Dijk and carefully stored them to plant at the 
>correct time. I am happy to say that they changed hemispheres, but I can't 
>tell the difference between them and Moraea setifolia. I got the Moraea 
>book out and agonized for awhile with the key and my hand lens. So I'd 
>appreciate anyone helping me figure out if this is really M. thomsonii. 
>Bill, have you ever compared the two? The Goldblatt book says M. thomsonii 
>has lost its leaves at flowering and the tepals are almost equal in size. 
>There was still the long single green leaf when these starting flowering 
>but in cultivation I am not sure that is relevant as an identifying 
>characteristic. The tepals however are different sizes. There isn't a 
>picture of this species in any of my books.
>And this is the picture of my Moraea setifolia:
>And Jim Waddick, if you are reading, do these pictures look at all like the 
>Moraea you got last year as M. elliotii? My first Moraea setifolia was 
>named M. stewartae which is a synonym for M. elliotii. Both Will Ashburner 
>from Australia and I felt like ours was misnamed and was really M. setifolia.
>I also put a picture of the back of the tepals of Moraea atropunctata on 
>the wiki after it had been flattened by the rain. It is very pretty on the 
>For pictures of Moraea atropunctata, M. bellendenii, a blue M. fugax, and 
>M. tricuspidata see:
>Mary Sue 
>pbs mailing list
Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least
three times" - Avent

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