Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Peacock Flowers

A fascinating must-read, must-see article on the last issue of IRISES, the Bulletin of The American Iris Society on some lovely members of the Iridaceae family: the peacock flowers.

“The Other Irids: The Peacock Flowers,” explores Michael Mace’s fascination with these South African beauties now making a stance in the U.S.  Michael says that he’s had a love affair with South African bulbs for the last 20 years.

Moraea neopavonia 
He says, “Most of the Moraea species have pleasant flowers in shades of blue and yellow, but the “Peacocks” stand out for their bold colors.” Indeed, the colors are impressive: magenta, purple, and orange. I would say that they one I was most impressed me was a light blue one with green, yes green, yellow and aqua-blue signals.

Moraea MM-03-05A (seedling)
The article is very descriptive and you can read about the genus Moraea’s origins, growing conditions and even commercial sources.

Moraea MM 03-07b (seedling)
Lucky for us Mr. Mace is also hybridizing Peacock Moraea species with lots of exciting results, and he recounts that he made over one hundred crosses just last winter.

“The Other Irids: The Peacock Flowers,” is in the current edition of IRISES, October 2011.

Michael Mace is a bulb collector from San Jose, California.

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