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Common names: Cape tulip
Fruit a 3-valved loculicidal capsule with numerous seeds. Seeds angular, variously shaped, ca. 1-2 mm in diameter. Reddish-brown to black, edges forming membranous ridges. Testa glossy, rugose-reticulate. Embryo small, linear; endosperm present.
Moraea polystachya (Thunb.) Ker-Gawl.
Britain; Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa; Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania.
Native to South Africa.
A variety of habitats from desert to Mediterranean shrubland to grassland; coarse, sandy soils or fertile, clay soils.
Homeria is a genus of 32 species of corm-bearing perennial herbs, with attractive flowers that resemble tulips. The corms are cultivated in the Netherlands and have been imported into the U.S. These plants contain a cardiac glycoside, homeridin, that is toxic to livestock. In South Africa, poisoning from this genus results in significant economic losses. H. miniata, H. flaccida, and H. pallida are important weedy species in South Africa, infesting overgrazed pasture, vineyards, plowed fields, abandoned fields, and disturbed roadsides, while H. collina and H. schlechteri are locally weedy. H. collina, H. miniata, and H. flaccida are crop weeds and pasture problems in Australia. Reproduction is by corms and seeds, which are spread by wind, water, and by adhering to and passing through animals. Some weedy species are sterile (non seed-producing) and these reproduce by cormlets surrounding the main corm.