Moraea polyanthos

October 29, 2019

Polyanthos means many flowered and describes the numerous flowers that may be open on a single day on a strong healthy plant.

Also commonly known as Bloutulp or blue tulip. On Gondwana is graces our grassland areas of the Nouga which is absolutely spectacular when in flower. Our elephant herds traverse the Nouga and meander proudly through the flowers brushing past their feet, with the calves stopping occasionally to inspect the blooms with their trunks. It’s a special time on the reserve!

The flowers can be anything from white to blueish-purple in colour, with yellow nectar guides on the inner or outer tepals. On Gondwana we have mostly found that they are a very light blue or white in colour. They favour growing in dry rocky or shale flats. The white form of this plant is said to have smaller flowers that the darker blue or purple forms. The white variant also has a deeper tepal cup, the stamens are smaller and are more or less included in the cup, they also have united filaments. It is uncertain why the flowers are so variable, and these variations seem to be specific to location.