More Moraea pictures on the wiki

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 06 Jun 2007 07:43:39 PDT

I'm finished for the moment with the Moraea subgroup additional pictures 
although there is still Homeria and Gynandriris left. I'm finding Homeria 
really hard because there are a lot of species and we saw so many on our 
trip. They look really different to me, but so many of the descriptions 
sound the same. What seems like an obvious difference in the flowers isn't 
even mentioned in any of the descriptions of the different species that 
grow in areas where we saw them.

There are a lot of additional pictures added of the species already 
illustrated on this page:…
Three new species:
Moraea saxicola
Moraea speciosa
Moraea stricta

Habitat pictures for Moraea serpentina and Moraea tripetala have been 
added. Moraea serpentina was quite a thrill. For one thing we saw it when 
we were with Bob and Marlene Werra so his enthusiasm was contagious. Second 
we saw it in mass. As he said later, the flower is fugacious. It doesn't 
open except under certain conditions. If it blooms, it may not bloom again 
for days. What was the chance that we happened to drive by on our way to 
Namaqualand from Nieuwoudtville and find all these flowers blooming at 
once? The next day or another time of day we'd pass that way and see 
nothing at all. My husband and I drove back that way after our visit in 
Namaqualand as we wanted to take the drive the back way from Nieuwoudtville 
to Clanwilliam to see if anything was still blooming in the Biedouw Valley 
and our timing was perfect because once again they were in bloom. Bob 
managed to capture a very colorful caterpillar on one flower for all the 
insect fans in our group. The coiling leaves were mostly dried up but the 
flowers still were going strong. That is the interesting thing about some 
of these long blooming fugacious Moraeas. You look at the plant and are 
sure it's done for the year. The leaves are dry and the flowering stalk 
doesn't look promising and then one afternoon you are passing by and a 
flower has appeared out of nowhere.

We saw a lot of Moraea tripetala, but it grows both in rocky sandstone and 
clay soils in many different areas in the winter rainfall part of South 
Africa. There is a picture from Alan Horstmann showing an almost white form.

Mary Sue

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