Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. This week we’ll be looking at a striking member of the Iridaceae (Iris family).

Moraea huttonii (Large Golden Vlei Moraea in English, teale-ea-noka in Sesotho) is a perennial which may obtain a height of up to 100cm. This species usually occurs in clumps, but may also occur in smaller groups of 2-3 in the early stages of development. This Moraea likes to grow in moist areas at high altitudes (up to 2400m A.S.L.) in close proximity to rocky mountain streams.  The distribution of this species is relatively wide (though sparse) from the Eastern Cape through the Free State, KZN and Mpumalanga. Flowering occurs from end Sept – mid November.

This specimen of M. huttonii was photographed on the banks of our Spruit hiking trail. Another specimen of the same species was observed along the Leucosidea trail in close proximity to the Kloof Dam.

The leaves of this species measure in the vicinity of 5-25mm wide; possess concave margins and are longer than the stem (approx. 1200mm). The flowers are relatively large (50-70mm across), and are an unmistakable butter yellow with large sunshine-yellow nectar guides on the outer tepals. The inner tepals are erect and spatula shaped. A dark hue is usually observed nearer the apex of the style. Uses:


Moraea huttoni makes for a very attractive and altogether striking garden plant. Households in Clarens have been observed utilising similar Iris species in colourful hedges along the outside perimeters of their properties. The ornamental value of this species is thus considerable among avid gardeners.

Conservation Status

The conservation status of M. huttonii according to SANBI is listed as of Least Concern (LC ).


Click here for more information on plants in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Click here for more information on the Clarens Village Nature Reserve


Damien1-100x100Article and photography by Damien Coulson

Head ranger: Clarens Village Nature Reserve




Author: Damien Coulson