Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Moraea MM 12-143

Seed parent: Moraea macronyx
Pollen parent: Moraea tricolor

The parents are both low-growing plants whose flowers last for only a single day. In captivity here in California, they tend to bloom on the first sunny day after they're watered, so I have set my drip irrigation system to water on Friday night, giving me a better chance of seeing flowers when I'm home over the weekend. The plants bloom on and off for several weeks to over a month, in early spring.

Moraea macronyx has a beautiful white and yellow flower:

Moraea tricolor is usually bright pink with yellow nectar guides, and subtle striping on the tepals:

Put them together, and here's what you get: MM 12-143a.

The outer tepals are yellow, with some dark read streaks on them. The inner tepals are are mostly dark red with a yellow background, while the style crests (the upright things in the center) are white, veined with dark mauvey red. It's not exactly beautiful, but I think it's very interesting to see how the colors combine, and I can't wait to see what will happen with further breeding.

These plants bloomed as two-year-old seedlings, still in the seed cup.

MM 12-143b.


  1. does it retain the citrus scent of M.macronyx?

  2. That's a great question, and I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't think to smell the flower. I'll try it next winter.


    1. So did it smell?

      Did it exhibit the usual 1 day life cycle of the parents flowers?

      I'm considering replicating this cross (and crosses with ciliata) but the short bloom time makes me hesitant with so many other options in the world of flowers.

    2. No smell that I could detect, and yes each flower lasts for just one day. The period of bloom is a few weeks, just like the parents. Please let me know if you duplicate the cross -- I'd be interested to see how others turn out.