Moraea polystachya

Botanical Name: 
Moraea polystachya
Common Name: 
Peacock iris, butterfly iris

A South African iris that is a perennial geophyte, the leaves and aerial stems dying back to the large dark-coated corm during the period of dormancy following flowering and seeding.

Flowers are blue-lilac in colour and have decorative patterns, flowers are borne in autumn and although each flower lasts only one day, a succession of flowers is produced so that the flowering period may last for six to eight weeks.

The leaves are 3-5 or 6 in number, long and strap-shaped, flat or slightly U-shaped and slightly twisted spirally, 6-12 mm wide with unthickened margins

The round capsule splits open when mature to release many small angular, pale brown seeds. Self seeds freely.

Grown from corms

Easy to grow, poisonous to stock.

Ht: 50cm


Ideal for pots and rockeries, mass plantings.


Sow seed in late summer or autumn. Seed germinates readily, and the same rules for watering and fertilizing apply. Seedlings flower in about three years.