Moraea tortilis Seeds
The genus Moraea can be divided into five groups: Galaxia, Gynandriris, Hexaglottis, Homeria, and Moraea. Homeria which was once considered to be a separate genus in the Iridaceae family is now included in Moraea. There are about 32 species of this Moraea subgroup native to southern Africa. They have long narrow basal leaves, sometimes only one per corm and large yellow, pink, orange, or bicolor flowers with six fairly equal tepals. The leaves of some species can be poisonous and are avoided by sheep and cattle and can then multiply freely. Some species have a reputation of being weedy and they are not welcomed in Australia or the United States because of the agricultural concerns. They are not very hardy so there is little danger of their becoming weedy in climates not to their liking. Although the flowers only last a day or two, some of the species produce flowers over a long period.
Moraea tortilis is a species from Namaqualand where it is often assosciated with quartzite outcrops. It has blue or white short lived flowers with reflexed inner tepals and small nectar guides. Leaves are coiled like a corkscrew.