South African gladiolus seedling leaves

Diane Whitehead
Thu, 02 Apr 2009 13:08:02 PDT
I've been checking my South African gladiolus seedlings, most from  
Silverhill and Summerfield seed, but a few from the alpine seed  

One, G. geardii, from the Scottish Rock Garden Club exchange, sown a  
year ago, has broad leaves ( 1 cm wide, and some have formed fans of  
leaves).  It looks as though every seed germinated.  I am surprised at  
its vigour - faster than the European gladiolus seedlings I'm  
growing.  Of course, it may be a European one - errors do occur.   
These 2008 seedlings are bigger than ones from 2007 from the same  

A Summerfield G. caryophyllaceus, sown at the same time, has two  
seedlings with leaves 1 mm wide.

A lot of other species, sown and germinated in 2006, have leaves that  
are still as thin as hairs, though a few are flat and starting to  
widen.  Some have very long leaves.

G. miniatus leaves are 3 mm wide (the widest of my seedlings from  
South African seed) and 38 cm long.
G. dalenii has one seedling 1mm wide.
G. liliaceus leaves are 1 mm wide and 44 cm long.
G. meliusculus is hair-like and 20 cm long.

Does this sound right?  I'm trying to remember what the leaves looked  
like in the wild.  Are mine suffering from lack of light?  They are in  
a greenhouse, but our maritime light is much dimmer than that in South  

Diane Whitehead
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
maritime zone 8, cool Mediterranean climate
mild rainy winters, mild dry summers

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