Cape tulip (Moraea miniata) is a perennial herb to 60cm high. The plant is toxic to grazing animals.
- perennial herb to 60cm with annual leaves and flowers growing from an underground bulb
- plant has 2-3 leaves which are flat, 1-2cm x 1m
- flowers are small and numerous, 2-4cm in diameter with six pink petals and yellow bases dotted with green
- root system is fine, shallow and fibrous.
Why is it a problem?
- all parts of two-leaf cape tulip are toxic to grazing animals
- stock accustomed to grazing on infested pasture are not affected as they know not to eat the plants, this results in desirable pasture species being replaced by the plant.
- Eyre Peninsula – isolated outbreaks and very light infestations
- Northern pastoral – small, scattered infestations around Eurelia
- Northern agricultural districts and Yorke Peninsula – scattered infestations
- Murray Mallee – isolated outbreaks in the Eden Valley area
- South East – scattered infestations
- Central – small isolated patches.
- grows on range of soil types, but usually on heavy soils in sunny locations
- less common than One-leaf cape tulip, although the two species may grow together
- bulbs germinate after autumn rain, new bulbs form before the flowers appear in September
- does not produce seeds, instead large numbers of tiny bulbs form in the angle of each leaf and around the bulb at base of plant
- bulbs can stay dormant in the soil until a favourable season
- plant can grow up to 20,000 tiny bulbs per square metre.
How it spreads
- bulbs spread in contaminated soil and produce
- also spreads via attachment to farm machinery and stock.