Gladiolus tristis

Jim McKenney
Tue, 20 Jul 2004 09:38:57 PDT
Mary Sue, when does Gladiolus tristis var. aestivalis begin to grow for you?  

I've tried "generic" Gladiolus tristis several times here, and the forms
I've had were all winter growers and thus unsuited for garden culture. 

If you have a form which postpones growth until late winter or early
spring, it might have a chance as a garden plant here on the East Coast. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I'm sad that I can't
grow Gladiolus tristis well. 

At 07:45 AM 7/20/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear All,
>I received a note back from Gordon Summerfield about the Gladiolus tristis 
>(var. aestivalis) I recently posted a picture of. He had donated the IBSA 
>seed. He told me about the habitat of this seed and about a couple of other 
>South African gladiolus that bloom at various times. I was hoping to plant 
>some of mine out after they go dormant, but after reading his note thought 
>perhaps it would be too dry. But I've just received another note from a 
>friend who is growing the same thing (from the same seed) that hers bloomed 
>at the same time as mine in a dry bed so perhaps they are more tolerant 
>than you'd think. Message from Gordon follows.
>Mary Sue
>"Gladiolus tristis var. aestivalis flowers here in December and in nature is
>confined to wet boggy areas and invariably well shaded.   They together with
>G. tristis var tristis and G. liliaceus are at their best in the early
>and attract the Hawk moth, to do the natural pollination after dark, hence
>the delightful smell - brush past and you will be rewarded with the
>delightful scent.   There is also a very late flowering G. liliaceus (end
>November) that grows in very close proximity to the G.tristis var aestivalis
>but interestingly in very dry circumstances.   I find it remarkable that
>there are these extreme flowering time differences within G.liliaceus,
>G.tristis and incidentally also G. recurvus.   The G. recurvus from around
>here and Stellenbsoch have almost finished flowering whereas I found a
>species from around the Ceres region last year that flowers in November!"
>Gordon Summerfield, South Africa July 04
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