Moraea unguiculata

October 29, 2019

This is a gorgeous little Moraea unguiculata grows on a variety of soils in various habitats. The small flowers have three very distinctive broad outer tepals (petals and sepals fused) and three smaller inner tepals with three points or lobes – the outer lobes are shorter and blunt while the middle lobe is thin and coiled inwards. The flowers are usually a dull white to cream but vary in colour from white to deep blue and brown.

In general, Moraeas are a fascinating species in terms of pollination. Most of them are pollinated by insects. The flowers are usually brightly coloured with strong scents and contrasting nectar guides to stimulate potential pollinators. Some flowers are short lived lasting less than a day, and some are fugacious (have parts that wither or fall off before the usual time) these flowers open in the late afternoon and fade shortly after sunset! This is most likely related to the activity of pollinating insects.