The photographs in today’s entry are courtesy of Amir A. of Israel, who sent them along via email. Thanks once again for sharing, Amir.
Discovered in 1973, Moraea loubseri is found on a single granite hillside near Langebaan, South Africa. For a time, it was assumed to have become extinct due to the establishment of a granite quarry, but a 1997 report indicates that the population had survived until at least that time. A subsequent report (by Johan Loubser, the discoverer of the species) from 2002 indicates 2 known individual plants observed in the wild by Dr Dee Snijman.
Despite its rarity in the wild, it grows well in cultivation, so much so that the above 1997 report by K.D. Duncan of Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden states: “…its progress has to be kept strictly in check due to its tendency to seed itself in pots where it is not meant to be growing!”. The report also notes that Moraea loubseri “flourishes in bulb collections around the world”, as is shown with Amir’s plants.
Roughly 200 species of Moraea are known to exist, with the centre of biodiversity occurring in Western Cape (where Moraea loubseri occurs).
Additional photographs of this species are published on the International Bulb Society web site: Moraea loubseri.