Friday, May 15, 2015

New Moraea Hybrids, 2015

Highlights from 2015:
  -Moraea X Homeria
  -Long eyelashes
  -Yellow emerges again
  -The pumpkin Moraea

I'm experimenting with hybridizing the genus Moraea. Most of my focus is on the "Peacock" species and their relatives (technically subgenus Vieusseuxia), although I sometimes dabble in others. These are my 2015 results. I'm an amateur, and welcome your advice and feedback.

In addition to the hybrids, I grow just about every winter-growing species of Moraea that I can get my hands on. I'd love to correspond and share plant material with anyone else who’s growing Moraea species or hybrids. Since some of the species are threatened in the wild, I think it’s important to grow and share them, and I am doing my best to help.

You can find my contact info here. For more details on my breeding program, see here.

Here are my favorite new hybrids from 2015:

MM 11-91 (Probably Moraea flaccida X M. villosa form a)
This is a hybrid between Moraea villosa and one of the plants in subgenus Homeria (probably Moraea flaccida). I didn't think it was possible to cross them, and as you can see the flowers are very distinctive looking.

MM 11-15c (Moraea villosa form b X (neopavonia x villosa) )
I like the intense yellow ring around the eye, and the reddish zone where the purple and yellow overlap.

MM 11-19a  (Moraea aristata X villosa form a)
A nice dark ring around the blue eye, with a few dark rays radiating out from it like eyelashes. I've never gotten streaks quite like these from any other hybrid.

MM 11-30b ( (M. aristata x calcicola) X  (atropunctata x neopavonia) )
There are yellow Moraea species, but I wasn't growing any of them when I made this cross. It's the offspring of an orange flower and a pale purple one. How that makes yellow, I have no idea. But I'm glad it did. A similar-looking hybrid appeared in 2009, but the corms all died the year after they bloomed. I've been hoping for another yellow ever since.

MM 11-140a. (M. villosa form b  X M. tulbaghensis with blue eye)
Most of the villosa X tulbaghensis crosses look roughly like this, but I like the nice clear colors of this one.

MM 11-165a ( (atropunctata x calcicola) X (atropunctata x calcicola) )
Kind of a snow white version of M. atropunctata. It's not spectacular, but I think it's elegant.

MM 12-125a ( (aristata x (atropunctata x neopavonia) ) X  atropunctata )
This is my first 2012 hybrid to bloom, and I really like it. The bright orange center and icy white tepals remind me of a white-skinned pumpkin.

For more information. About 30 new crosses bloomed for me in 2015. You can see listings for each of them in the 2015 archive at right.


  1. Just sowed the first seeds of Moraea polystachia, and I must say I'm excited! Far away still from one of the 'peacock-Moraeas', all european vendors have them - temporarily sold out! But I believe polystachia is a good one to start with!
    Meanwhile I watch your stunning plants and photographs!

  2. Thanks for your comment! This summer I'd be glad to share some Moraea corms and/or seeds with you, if you're interested.

    Moraea polystachya is a beautiful plant, and a great one to start with because it blooms a long time and is fairly robust. It's a summer-dormant species, so don't be surprised if the seeds don't sprout until the autumn.

    1. Thank you for this advice! Yesterday I saw the first of which I believe to be a Moraea-seedling! I knew they are slow and that the adults are summer dormant, but I couldn't refrain from sowing a few...

      I'd be glad if you shared some corms and/or seeds with me, just tell me what you would like in exchange, Pancratium canariense should be 'ready' with their seeds by now, but I don't know if US-laws allow seeds from overseas in?
      Some time ago I considered joining the Society but conversion rates are stupidly high in my place and I desisted.

      Now I just have to watch that tiny something growing...!

  3. Neat Mike! I like them. MM 12-125a is quite nice -- like a brighter and happier atropunctata. Good selection on MM 11-140a too.

  4. I'm blown away by your dedication, passion and results! I'm planning a small eco flower farm, yet am sadly aware that moraea are not suitable for cut flower production. I'd love to have my own little dedicated moraea area where I can sit in wonder at these magnificent beauties for their short flowering season - I'd consider that my idea of an exotic holiday. Kind thanks for sharing your work. Kitt (

  5. So pleased to have found you. We need people like you to increase the offer of plants for winter flowering under dry conditions. Many thanks.