Family: Iridaceae
Common Name: Butterfly Iris, Peacock Iris

These cormous perennials are native to tropical South Africa. The leaves and flowers are very similar to those of Iris to which it is closely related. Moraea mostly grows from corms, though a few species grow from rhizomes. Free-flowering during the spring and early summer months, the blooms range in colour from pure white to shades of lilac.


M. angusta, from South Africa, grows to 30 cm (12 in), with dull, brownish yellow flowers.

M. fugax, also from South Africa, has fragrant flowers in mauve or white and grows to 60 cm (24 in).

M. spathulata, from South Africa, grows to 60 cm (24 in) and has bright yellow flowers with purple edges.

M. villosa is variable, but the flowers are mostly purple with a deeper, peacock blue eye.


In climates pone to frost, tender species are grown in pots in a cool greenhouse, hardier ones in the garden in a well-drained, sheltered, sunny spot. Plant in autumn or spring about 8 cm (3 in) deep. Under glass, do not water plants from midsummer to autumn, while they are dormant. Propagate from offsets during the dormant period.


Zone 9 for most species, zone 8 for M. spathulata.

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Monstera      Mucuna