Blue-eye Moraea

Scientific Name
Moraea aristata (D.Delaroche) Asch. & Graebn.
Higher Classification
Ferraria ocellaris Salisb., Moraea candida Baker, Moraea glaucopis (DC.) Drapiez, Moraea tricuspis (Thunb.) Ker Gawl. var. ocellata D.Don, Vieusseuxia aristata D.Delaroche, Vieusseuxia glaucopis DC.
Common Names
Blouooguintjie (a), Blue-eye Moraea (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered D
Assessment Date
J.E. Victor, J.C. Manning, P. Goldblatt & R.C. Turner
This Cape Flats endemic has lost all of its habitat to urban expansion of the City of Cape Town. It persists in one subpopulation, where there are fewer than 50 plants growing in a completely transformed habitat in Observatory.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Formerly recorded from the Cape Peninsula between Cape Town and Rondebosch. A single subpopulation remains at Observatory.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Peninsula Shale Renosterveld
Clay slopes and flats.
Urban expansion of the city of City of Cape Town resulted in the severe decline of this species, and a single, small population persists in a severely degraded area in the middle of a Cape Town suburb. The small fragment where this species grows is densely invaded by exotic and alien invasive species, particularly grasses, to such an extent that it is no longer considered natural. Flowering is very erratic, possibly as a result of unfavourable habitat conditions, and as a result seed set is very low. Too few individuals remain to be considered a viable population, and this species is on the brink of extinction in the wild.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Moraea aristata (D.Delaroche) Asch. & Graebn.CR DRaimondo et al. (2009)
Moraea aristata (D.Delaroche) Asch. & Graebn.Endangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Moraea aristata (D.Delaroche) Asch. & Graebn.Endangered Hall et al. (1980)

Duncan, G. 2002. Just holding on: spectacular geophytes in peril. Veld & Flora 88(4):142-147.

Duncan, G.D. 1983. Moraea aristata. Veld & Flora 69(4):143-144.

Duncan, G.D. 1997. Moraeas of the Western Cape. Veld & Flora 83(2):42-44.

Goldblatt, P. 1986. The Moraeas of Southern Africa: a systematic monograph of the genus in South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Transkei, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Annals of Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens 14:1-224. National Botanic Gardens in association with the Missouri Botanical Garden, USA, Cape Town.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

Helme, N.A. and Trinder-Smith, T.H. 2006. The endemic flora of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 72(2):205-210.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Smuts, L.M. 1995. Fact Sheet: Moraea aristata. Information System for Endangered Plants (ISEP). Cape Nature Conservation.

Victor, J.E., Manning, J.C., Goldblatt, P. & Turner, R.C. 2006. Moraea aristata (D.Delaroche) Asch. & Graebn. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/01/25

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Distribution map

© C. Merry

© C. Merry

© C. Paterson-Jones

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