Namaqualand is an arid area in northwest South Africa. Although it is a winter rainfall area, rainfall is sparse and the plants found in this area are not included in some of the books illustrating South African bulbs since it is not considered to be part of the Cape Floral province. For most of the year the land appears to be a desert and because it has an average annual rainfall of 50-400 mm it could be classified as such. But in a year with adequate rainfall it becomes alive with an amazing floral display of annuals, bulbs, dwarf shrubs, and succulents. Flowering usually occurs in August and September, but dry winds which halt the display can end it sooner. In a year with little rainfall there are few flowers. Summers are hot and dry but there is occasional fog since the ocean is not that far away. Photos on this page taken in Namaqualand. More information about the plants seen on this page can by found on the wiki genus pages. Links are included to make it easier to go directly to these pages. Species from L-M, Lachenalia to Moraea, are pictured below.
Lachenalia carnosa is a Namaqualand species found growing in rocks and on sandy flats between hills. Pictures 1-4 below from Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner show this species growing in the rocks September 2006. Photo 5 was taken by Cameron McMaster September 2011 near Carolusberg.
Lachenalia framesii is a Namaqualand species that grows in flat sandy areas, often in large colonies. Photo taken near Knersvlakte September 2011 by Cameron McMaster.
Lachenalia hirta is distributed from Namaqualand to the Western Cape where is grows in sandy soil, often in large colonies. Photos taken September 2006 by Mary Sue Ittner
Lachenalia namaquensis is found in exposed rocky habitats. Photo taken by Andrew Harvie northwest of Steinkopf.
Lachenalia patula is found on quartz hillsides in the northwest Cape. Photos by Andrew Harvie.
Lachenalia unifolia Jacq. grows on sandy granitic or sandstone soils from Namaqualand to Bredasdorp. Photo from Cameron McMaster taken near Naries.
Lachenalia violacea is distributed in the northwest Cape where it is found in various habitats, but often in rocky places. Photos taken September 2006 by Mary Sue Ittner.
Lapeirousia arenicola is found in deep red sand. Photos taken September 2006 by Mary Sue Ittner.
Lapeirousia verecunda photos taken near Naries by Cameron McMaster.
Moraea bolusii grows on rocky flats and hills in thin sandy soils. Photos taken by Andrew Harvie northeast of Springbok.
Moraea falcifolia Klatt grows on sandy or clay slopes and flats from southern Namibia to the Karoo and south to the southwestern Cape. Photos taken by Brian du Preez in Namaqualand late July 2021.
Moraea filicaulis Baker, syn. Moraea fugax ssp. filicaulis (Baker) Goldblatt, grows in rocky ground or deep sand and flowers August to October. Photographed September 2006 in Namaqua National Park by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner.
Moraea gawleri is widespread in the Cape province and is found growing on sandy or clay slopes, usually in Renosterveld. Photo taken September 2011 by Cameron McMaster.
Moraea inconspicua is a widespread species (Namaqualand to the Eastern Cape) found on sandy and clay slopes, flowering in spring Photographs taken by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner September 2006.
Moraea intermedia is a rare species found in open sandy places among granite outcrops near Springbok. Photos taken by Cameron McMaster.
Moraea miniata information found on a wiki Homeria page. Photos 1-2 from Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner of plants with white flowers blooming September 2006. Photo 3 from Cameron McMaster taken near Kamieskroon September 2011.
Moraea pilifolia Goldblatt (syn. Galaxia ciliata Pers.) grows on stony slopes from Namaqualand to Gifberg and flowers June-July. Photo from iNaturalist taken by Nick Helme in July where it was growing in granite renosterveld and shared under a CC BY-NC license.
Moraea saxicola grows on rocky granite or clay soils. Photos taken northwest of Steinkopf by Andrew Harvie.
Moraea serpentina is a spring flowering species from arid parts of the interior and the northwestern Cape where it grows on dry stony flats and in crevices in granite rock. Photos were taken by Cameron McMaster September 2011.
Moraea tortilis Goldblatt is often associated with quartzite outcrops. The first three photos taken by Alan Horstmann in September.
Moraea unguiculata is found on shale slopes in the winter rainfall area. Its range extends into the Eastern Cape where it occurs in drier open thicket environments and Karoo hills. Photo taken September 2011 by Cameron McMaster near Kamieskroon.