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Moraea polystachya

Cape blue tulip

M. polystachya is a cormous perennial producing three to five narrow, upright leaves to 80cm long on branching stems. In summer bears light blue to purple, iris-like flowers, the outer petals bearing a white-edged, yellow mark at the base

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Blue Purple Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Moraea are cormous perennials with linear, sword-shaped or rolled leaves and clusters of short-lived iris-like flowers in late spring or summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Namibia to S Africa

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow at the base of a warm, sunny wall in a well-drained, humus-rich, moderately fertile soil in full sun. Protect from excessive winter wet. Under glass grow in a loam-based compost (JI No 2) with added sharp grit. Water sparingly when growth begins and freely in full growth. Dry off as leaves wither, to ensure a dry dormancy from mid-summer to autumn

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers in a coldframe in spring, or separate offsets when dormant

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

No pruning necessary

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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