One-leaf cape tulip (Moraea flaccida) is a toxic perennial weed, with annual leaves and flowers to 60cm high.
- each plant has only one leaf which is flat, 1-2cm x 1m
- flowers are 3-5cm in diameter with six petals that can vary from salmon-pink through orange to yellow
- fruit is a three-valved capsule up to 5cm, it starts green and turns brown when mature
- seeds are brown in colour, irregular in shape and discharged from the summit of the capsule
- each capsule may contain up to 150 seeds
- corms are 1-2cm in diameter, white in colour but covered in a brown fibrous tunic
- roots are fine, shallow and fibrous.
Why is it a problem?
- all parts of one-leaf cape tulip are toxic to grazing animals
- stock accustomed to grazing around infestations avoid the plants
- this selective grazing results in desirable pasture species being invaded, decreasing stock capacity.
- Eyre Peninsula – isolated outbreaks and very light infestations
- Northern agricultural districts and Yorke Peninsula – widespread in the south, isolated in the north
- Murray Mallee – isolated outbreaks in the southern mallee
- South East – scattered infestations
- Central region – large contained infestations.
- occurs on a range of soil types and prefers sunny locations
- seeds and corms germinate after the autumn rains
- flowering stems produced in winter and flowers appear in September
- aerial growth dies by November
- plants do not flower or set seed until 2-3 years old
- corms move deeper into the soil via a contractile root, dragging the corm to about 10cm deep
- up to 60% of corms can remain dormant through a whole growing season
- toxic to all grazing animals, the poison is a glycoside.
How it spreads
- contaminated soil, produce, farm machinery and stock
- seed capsules are also moved by wind and water.