Moraeas in bloom

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 08 May 2003 07:49:07 PDT
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 

More information about the pbs mailing list