Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Moraea MM 12-143

Seed parent: Moraea macronyx

Pollen parent: Moraea tricolor

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:

The parents are both low-growing plants whose flowers last for only a single day. In captivity here in California, they tend to bloom in early spring 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.

These cheerful little hybrids have subtle variations between individuals: A little more red on here, a bit more yellow there. I have tried to sort them into lettered selections, but it's hard to do accurately, especially since the individual flowers last only a single day. Better, I think, not to worry about the classification and just enjoy a cluster of them when a sunny day brings out a flush of flowers. They're especially welcome since they bloom before most of the other Moraeas (February in my part of California).

MM 12-143a.

The outer tepals are yellow, with some dark red 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 first bloomed as two-year-old seedlings, still in the seed cup.

MM 12-143b.

MM 12-143c. 

MM 12-143d.

For the reciprocal to this cross, see MM 12-55.


  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.