Moraea aristata (D.Delaroche) Asch. & Grabn.

Cormous perennial with a solitary, linear, flat, basal leaf and occasionally branched stems bearing white flowers with conspicuous, green, blue or violet central eyes on the outer tepals, in spring.  To 35cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, CECB].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It is a small delicate Iris, about a foot and a half high, with very narrow leaves, bearing at the top of the stalk one or at most two flowers, three of the petals are large and white, with a brilliant blue spot at the base of each, edged on the outer side with deep purple; the delicacy of the flower, and the eye-like spot at the base of three of the petals, render it one of the most striking plants of the genus.’  [BM 168/1791].  ‘The remarkable spot at the base of the outer laminae […] probably led Mr. Curtis into the mistake that this was Thunberg’s Iris pavonia. […] Found at the Cape, by Thunberg, growing abundantly on the hills below Duyvelsberg, in Swartland, and near Berg-River.’  [BM t.696/1803]. 

‘A most delicate and beautiful bulbous plant, from the Cape of Good Hope.  It has been known for many years, but has always been scarce.  [LBC no.1744/1833].  Vieusseuxia glaucopis was introduced to Britain in 1776.  [JD].  OFG f.266/1854.  ABR pl.364/1804.  FS f.423/1848.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.443/1845].


Published Oct 19, 2009 - 05:25 PM | Last updated Jul 24, 2010 - 05:04 PM

Figured is a sword-shaped leaf and iris-like white flower with prominent blue eye.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.168, 1791.

Moraea aristata (D.Delaroche) Asch. & Grabn. | BM t.168/1791 | RBGS

More details about Moraea aristata (D.Delaroche) Asch. & Grabn.
Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Vieusseuxia glaucopis DC.
  • Vieusseuxia aristata D.Delaroche
  • Moraea glaucopis Bak.
  • Moraea tricuspis Ker Gawl.
  • Iris pavonia Curt.
  • Iris tricuspis Willd. 
Common Name

Peacock iris, Butterfly iris

Name in the Camden Park Record

Vieusseuxia glaucopis 

Confidence level high