Moraea Polystacha – (Peacock Flower, Butterfly Iris)
A dainty long blooming miniature iris-like flower which provides a lovely display of intense lilac-blue flowers with bright yellow nectar guide markings in their throats.
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Moraea Polystachya is a very lovely, dainty plant which flowers its heart out in the late summer for several months.
The wiry stems are about 50cm high and while individual flowers don’t last long, fresh buds keep opening because it flowers down the stem, a bit like a bearded iris. The colour is an intense blue lilac with yellow markings. Its common name,is the Peacock Flower, which is inherited from the member of the moraea family whose flowers are most like a peacock feather ( Moraea Villosa). Moraea Polystachya looks quite like a miniature iris.
These plants don’t take up much room in the garden as the leaves which come after the plant has flowered, are very tidy and take up little space.
Moraeas are cormous bulbs, like the gladiolus family, and the plant is native to South Africa. In a good year, usually in autumn, the large, deep blue to violet or occasionally white, iris-like flowers of this species appear in eye-catching displays in the arid central interior of southern Africa.
It is an easily grown plant from seed, but does not ever become a pest, however do not grow it where cattle can get to it, as it is toxic to stock.
It is drought tolerant, and is equally at home in a container or in the rockery
Sow seeds at any time covering them with compost or grit 5mm deep, in a cool, well-lit spot outdoors. Artificial heat is not needed and can prevent germination. Many species will only germinate in the spring after a good chilling or freezing in the moist seed tray in the winter. Grow on seedlings in small pots before planting out into sharply draining compost in a pot, or the open ground in a well-drained spot.
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Peacock Iris, Butterfly Iris
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