Moraea stricta

Botanical name

Moraea stricta

Other names

Moraea thomsonii, tulp (Afrikaans)




A bulbous plant of about 20 cm in height

Description of stem

Erect, sturdy with a few branches

Description of leaves

Single long, narrow leaf appears after the flower in spring

Description of flowers

Delicate flowers of about 2,5 cm across, pale blue to lilac, with round orange spots (or nectar guides) on the outer three tepals that are much broader than the erect inner three and also positioned horizontally or pendulous with faint lines radiating out from the spots that have dark blue or grey lines around them; the individual flower soon dies off; flowers appear at the end of the dry winter period

Desciption of seed/fruit

Obovoid capsule

Description of roots

Grows from a corm base of about 2 cm in diameter, with a  coarse dark fibrous covering or tunic; small corms form around the main one among the fibres



Propagation and cultivation

Can be grown from seed, also by transplanting corms, although a low survival rate has been reported for both methods


Drought resistant


The corms are said to be eaten by locals in Lesotho; some Moraea species are poisonous to livestock

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases



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In grassland and on hilly slopes

Distribution (SA provinces)

Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West


South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique and northward to Ethiopia