Moraea is a huge genus in the Iridaceae family. Most of the 220-plus species of Moraea are found in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 120 species native to the Cape Floral Province of South Africa. Some Moraea species grow in the summer, but most are winter-growing, and many have purple or yellow flowers that look like miniature beardless irises. Some Moraea species are known as "Peacock flowers" because they have very brightly colored flowers with contrasting centers.

In 1998, Moraea was merged by taxonomists with several other genera. Major groupings within the merged genus include:

To help growers cope with the changes, we created separate pages for each subgroup, and listed the species whose names were changed under their new names along with their old names. In 2013, based on molecular studies the genus was reorganized again into 11 subgenera. We have not yet restructured the Moraea part of the wiki to take into account that new organization, but you can see the paper on it here, and a summary of the taxonomy here. More information can be learned from Peter Goldblatt's book on Moraeas and Manning, Goldblatt, Snijman, 2002.

These photos illustrate species in the Galaxia, Gynandriris, Hexaglottis, and Homeria subgroups.

Galaxia subgroup, Moraea galaxia, Alan HorstmannGalaxia subgroup, Moraea melanops, Cameron McMasterGynandriris subgroup, Moraea pritzeliana, Bob WerraHexaglottis subgroup, Moraea nana, Bob RutemoellerHomeria subgroup, Moraea ochroleuca, Alan HorstmannHomeria subgroup, Moraea vallisbelli, Mary Sue Ittner

These photos illustrate species in the Moraea subgroup.

Moraea tripetala, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea neglecta, Cameron McMasterMoraea lurida, Cameron McMasterMoraea villosa, Mary Sue IttnerMoraea polystachya, Bob RutemoellerMoraea thomasiae, Bob Werra

To grow Moraea from seeds, sow them in a well drained mix and allow the plants to have temperature fluctuations of warm days and cool nights. Plant winter-growing species in fall, and summer-growing species in spring. Most species will tolerate light frost but not extended freezes. Depending on the species, germination can happen within three weeks or take as long as three years (Dell Sherk). Most species take three years to go from seed to flower, but Moraea polystachya and Moraea villosa were reported to flower in 1-2 years (Mary Sue Ittner). Will Ashburner recorded germination and flowering time of 12 species where the first number is weeks to germination and the second is weeks to flowering. Moraea alticola (10, 118), Moraea bellendenii (5, 130), Moraea bubalina (5, 136), Moraea insolens (5, 129), Moraea macronyx (5, 120), Moraea moggii (29, 136), Moraea ramosissima (6, 130), Moraea serpentina (3, 130), Moraea spathulata (6, 135), Moraea thomsonii (6, 128), Moraea tricuspidata (5, 126), Moraea tripetala (3, 121-124).

You can find information on pollinating Moraea flowers here.

Bob Werra gave a talk at the 2006 Indigenous Bulb Association of South Africa's symposium. The title of his talk was Mad about Moraeas. He discussed his experience growing this genus in Ukiah, California and passed out a sheet summarizing his experiences and rating the ones he grows. He has kindly allowed this summary to be added to the wiki.

More information about specific species can be found by accessing the wiki pages listed below or by clicking on the links for the species in the table.
Galaxia - Gynandriris - Hexaglottis - Homeria A-J - Homeria K-Z - Moraea group A - Moraea group B - Moraea group C-E - Moraea group F - Moraea group G-I - Moraea group J-M - Moraea group N-R - Moraea group S - Moraea group T - Moraea group U-V - Moraea Hybrids

Moraea species
Moraea albicuspa Moraea albiflora Moraea algoensis Moraea alpina
Moraea alticola Moraea amissa Moraea anomala Moraea aristata
Moraea atropunctata Moraea barkerae Moraea barnardiella Moraea barnardii
Moraea bellendenii Moraea bifida Moraea bipartita Moraea bituminosa
Moraea bolusii Moraea brevistyla Moraea britteniae Moraea bubalina
Moraea caeca Moraea calcicola Moraea cantharophila Moraea cedarmontana
Moraea ciliata Moraea citrina Moraea collina Moraea comptonii
Moraea contorta Moraea cooperi Moraea crispa Moraea debilis
Moraea deltoidea Moraea doleritica Moraea dracomontana Moraea eburnea
Moraea elegans Moraea elliotii Moraea elsiae Moraea falcifolia
Moraea fenestrata Moraea fergusoniae Moraea filamentosa Moraea flaccida
Moraea fugacissima Moraea fugax Moraea galaxia Moraea gawleri
Moraea gigandra Moraea graminicola Moraea herrei Moraea hiemalis
Moraea huttonii Moraea hybrids - Homeria group Moraea hybrids - Moraea group Moraea inclinata
Moraea inconspicua Moraea incurva Moraea insolens Moraea intermedia
Moraea karroica Moraea lazulina Moraea lewisiae Moraea lilacina
Moraea longiaristata Moraea longifolia Moraea loubseri Moraea lugubris
Moraea luteoalba Moraea lurida Moraea macrocarpa Moraea macronyx
Moraea marionae Moraea marlothii Moraea mediterranea Moraea melanops
Moraea miniata Moraea muddii Moraea modesta Moraea nana
Moraea natalensis Moraea neglecta Moraea neopavonia Moraea ochroleuca
Moraea papilionacea Moraea pendula Moraea petricola Moraea polyanthos
Moraea polystachya Moraea pseudospicata Moraea pritzeliana Moraea pubiflora
Moraea pyrophila Moraea radians Moraea ramosissima Moraea regalis
Moraea reticulata Moraea riparia Moraea rivulicola Moraea saxicola
Moraea schlechteri Moraea serpentina Moraea setifolia Moraea simulans
Moraea singularis Moraea sisyrinchium Moraea spathulata Moraea speciosa
Moraea striata Moraea stricta Moraea thermarum Moraea thomasiae
Moraea tortilis Moraea tricolor Moraea tricuspidata Moraea trifida
Moraea tripetala Moraea tulbaghensis Moraea umbellata Moraea unguiculata
Moraea vallisbelli Moraea vegeta Moraea versicolor Moraea vespertina
Moraea vigilans Moraea villosa Moraea virgata Moraea viscaria
Moraea vuvuzela Moraea worcesterensis Moraea 'Zoe'

Galaxia - Gynandriris - Hexaglottis - Homeria A-J - Homeria K-Z - Moraea group A - Moraea group B - Moraea group C-E - Moraea group F - Moraea group G-I - Moraea group J-M - Moraea group N-R - Moraea group S - Moraea group T - Moraea group U-V - Moraea Hybrids

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Page last modified on February 20, 2015, at 09:18 AM