: Gladiolus ranges

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Tue, 06 Mar 2007 12:51:41 PST
Hi Alani and all,

I wonder as Alani does, are there any bridging species of Gladiolus between 
the subsaharan lands and the Mediterranean coast of North Africa?

There are lots of Gladiolus in subsaharan Africa; see Peter Goldblatt's 
book, "Gladiolus in Tropical Africa" (Timber Press, 1996).   The tropical 
glads are contiguous to the Gladiolus of Southern Africa (Goldblatt and 
Manning, "Gladiolus of Southern Africa," Fernwood Press, 1998).  A few 
species apparently overlap from tropical into southern.  G. dalenii may be 
very widespread in Eastern Africa, but how far to the north is it found 

The North African glads are probably part of the Mediterranean complex, 
with illyricus and italicus.  I might guess that the distribution of 
byzantinus in North Africa is due to the Romans and other Mediterranean 
conquerors and traders, but I don't really know.

Has anyone done a careful study of the Mediterranean/Eurasian species vis a 
vis the southern African species?

Jim Shields

At 03:03 PM 3/6/2007 -0500, Alani Davis wrote:
>Which African Gladiolus; they are on both ends at least. One of my early
>memories is vast expanses of Gladiolus byzantinus blooming, in a condition I
>have since presumed was wild though they could have been naturalized, in
>Tunisia around Tunis and Carthage. They were quite prevalent in some areas
>often scattered through the Roman ruins growing from cracks and crannies in
>the crumbling stone. I understand this is common along the north Africa
>Mediterranean edge, but is this only African glad north of equator or are
>there species through the central portion of the continent as well. I can
>imagine them potentially along the eastern coast possibly because of the
>extent of grasslands and mountains providing more suitable geography, but I
>am not that familiar with the species distribution in the genus. Are
>northern and southern Gladiolus species isolated populations or are there
>species across at least portions of the tropical central portions of Africa

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

More information about the pbs mailing list