by Stephen Mifsud
   2 Mar 2024      ()
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Moraea sisyrinchium   (Barbary Nut Iris)

Moraea sisyrinchium  (IRIDACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date May-2006 (taxon update: May-2006)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Moraea sisyrinchium - datasheet created on May-2006. Retrieved from on 02-Mar-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Moraea sisyrinchiumKer Gawl.
Published in Nuovi Gen. Sp. Monocot. 52 (1854)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Gynandriris sisyrinchium Parl.
Synonym that was used for long in Malta: Gynandriris sisyrinchium (L.) Parl.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Iridaceae Juss. (The Iris Family)
23 species from the Iridaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Barbary Nut Iris

Maltese name(s) :

Fjurduliż salvaġġ

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent    Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE ( bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc. )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

April – May

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Dry places, especially near the coast
Preferred habitat in Malta: Shallow soil in the garigue and in the countryside. Reported to be common in coralline plateaux.
Botanical Description: Corm 15-30 mm in diameter, globose, surrounded by numerous tunics, the outer coarsely fibrous. Plant 10-30(-45) cm. Leaves 1-2, with long, sheathing base, the free portion 10-50 cm × 1·5-5 mm, flexuous, procumbent or ascending, convolute when dry. Flowers fugitive, in 1-4 compact cymes, each with 1-6 flowers. Spathes 4-6 cm, scarious. Perianth violet-blue to purple, the falls with a white or yellow patch. Falls c. 30 × 10 mm, with elliptic-obovate limb; standards c. 25 × 5 mm, with slender, canaliculate claw and lanceolate limb. Style-branches suberect, deeply 2-fid. Beak of ovary 20-30 mm, very slender. Capsule (excluding beak) 20 × 4 mm. Seeds 1·5 mm, pyriform, brown.
Chromosome number: 2n=24
Distributional range: Mediterranean region, C. & S. Portugal

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ag Bl Co Cr Cy Eg Gr Hs IJ It Li LS Lu Ma Sa Si Sn Tn Tu(E)

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (12 images)
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-0.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-1.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-2.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-3.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-4.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-5.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-6.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-7.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-8.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-9.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-10.
   Moraea sisyrinchium   -   Image Code: MORSY-11.

Buy Seeds and Docs
Sales of seeds of wild plants for academic studies, research or personal use. Note that not all species seeds can be exported - depending on Maltese regulations and CITES, and availability depends on season. You are hence kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges. Currently local orders are not taken.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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