Syn.: Gynandriris sisyrinchium (L.) Parl., Helixyra sisyrinchium (L.) N. E. Br., Iris sisyrinchium L., Xiphion sisyrinchium (L.) Baker
Family: Iridaceae Juss.

Moraea sisyrinchium

Distribution: Mediterranean region (from Portugal through southern Europe and northern Africa to the Middle East), Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia.

Ecology: It grows in dry grasslands, in garrigue, often on sandbanks, especially near the coast. It blooms from March to May.

Moraea sisyrinchium

Description: Perennial herb with a corm 15–30 mm in diameter. Plant 10–30(–45) cm tall, leaves 1–2, 10–50 cm × 1.5–5 mm, flexuous, procumbent or ascending, convolute when dry. Flowers in 1–4 compact cymes, each with 1–6 flowers, spathes 4–6 cm, scarious, perianth-segments violet-blue to purple, the falls with a white or yellow patch, 30 × 10 mm, standards 25 × 5 mm. The fruit is a capsule, 1.5–4 cm long.

Note: The genus Moraea contains about 200 species, of which about 180 grow in South Africa.

Moraea sisyrinchiumMoraea sisyrinchium
Moraea sisyrinchium

These images were taken in Cyprus, British Sovereign Base Area of Akrotiri, south from the salt lake (March 28, 2010).