Bulb Sharing Quandry

michaelcmace@gmail.com michaelcmace@gmail.com
Thu, 24 Oct 2019 08:51:53 PDT
Dave wrote:

>> I don't think they're actually M. lurida. The ones that bloomed look like
M. tripetala and one was colored like the "tripetala" but has a completely
different form.

Welcome to the list, Dave! There are a number of Morea fanciers in our
online fellowship, including me, and we all look forward to sharing info
with you.

I've found that it's hard to predict what people will or won't want from the
BX, so my personal rule is to go ahead and share but label really precisely.
As long as you label them Moraea (species unknown, looks like tripetala)
then I personally think you are probably OK. Other folks please speak up if
I'm giving bad advice.

By the way, I bought some of those same bulb packets from UCBG, and found
the same thing as you: A lot of the material was mislabeled. Worse, some of
the packets had M. setifolia mixed in, a nice looking species that often
seeds itself aggressively in captivity. (The non-tripetala flower in your
photo looks to me like M. setifolia. Be cautious with it!)

It looks to me like Berkeley has been growing these things in pots side by
side and some of the plants seeded into nearby pots. That's understandable,
it happens to many of us including me, but if you'll forgive me for being a
little bit catty, I thought it was amusing because their management has in
the past been very persnickety about proclaiming how they identify
everything in their collection meticulously, keep them separate, etc.

If you want, you could try to verify the identity of your M. tripetala
flowers by looking them up in the online monograph about that species, which
is here:


One catch is that the species has now been divided into a bunch of different
species, distinguished by differences in flower structure, color, and some
other details. The article above describes the details. So there's a chance
that even if what you have was once called M. tripetala, it's not actually
M. tripetala any more. There's also a small risk that what you have could be
hybrids between different M. tripetala species. However, I haven't seen
pollinators in California figure out how to get into those particular
flowers, so I think the risk is relatively low.

Confused? Welcome to the club.

San Jose, CA

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