This is a wholly African genus of around 200 species, found from the south of the Sahara all the way to S. Africa. Most of the species are found in the Cape area. Some, from the W. Cape are winter-growing but many valuable garden species also grow at altitude in the mountains of the E. Cape.
These eastern species can cope both with winter cold and some snow, as well as with summer rain. They are said to take down to -5°C and without having measured the temperature accurately, they certainly take cold, snow and frost here. These high altitude Eastern species are well equipped to withstand life in gardens in the UK.
The flowers are both lovely and highly conspicuous and the eastern species that are in cultivation (I cannot vouch for the entire genus!) are remarkably resistant to common garden pests, suffering from few diseases or ailments.
The name Moraea was coined by Carl Linnaeus and commemorates Dr Johan Moraeus, his wife's father.