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Moraea spathulata

spathulate butterfly lily

M. spathulata is an evergreen (in frost-free climates) perennial with a single linear leaf to each corm, and a stem bearing a cluster of bright yellow, iris-like flowers to 9cm wide, marked with purplish-brown on the lower petals

Synonyms
Moraea spathacea
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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, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring
Summer Yellow Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
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
Zimbabwe 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 with midday shade. 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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