a Gladiolus to identify

M. Gastil-Buhl gastil.buhl@gmail.com
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:47:17 PDT
Thank you Dylan and Lauw for G. communis and G. italicus. I agree both  
these species resemble my plant in some ways.
At first, from most photos, I would have agreed with G. communis. But  
based on anther length and corm texture, my best guess now is G.  
now that I have seen the Bulb Garden article.

The Gladiolus italicus in the Bulb'Argence picture
has floral bracts tinted red or purplish-green. Is that just the  
lighting in the photo?
My un-labeled Gladiolus has floral bracts the same color as its  
leaves, a light to medium green with no hint of red.
My Gladiolus petals are narrow and pointed, but not quite as  
dramatically as the above Gladiolus italicus. And the white streaks on  
the bottom petals are not as pronounced. But there is a resemblance.

Looking at the Gladiolus italicus photos on the PBS wiki I do see a  
resemblance between mine and the first photo, but not the 4th photo.
Not an identical match, but close. But that photo does not resemble  
the G. italicus on the Bulb'Argence site.

I looked at Gladiolus communis as Dylan suggested and some of the  
photos on google image do resemble my plant, others do not.
The photo on the pbs wiki
has petals more broad than mine and more blooms per stalk.

Having narrowed the field, I looked for a key to distinguish these two  
I found a thesis about G. illyricus in Britain which also covers G.  
italicus adn G. communis and keys those two apart by the length of the  
anther relative to the filament. (I do wonder if anthers and filaments  
shrink the same amount as they dry for herbarium preparation.)

page 10
G. communis = anther shorter than filament
G. italicus = anther longer than filament

I took new photos to show that on my unlabeled Gladiolus, the anthers  
are longer than the filaments.

The thesis 'The Taxonomic Status of Gladiolus illyricus (Iridaceae) in  
Britain' by Aeron Buchanan got those criteria from
T. G. Tutin, V. H. Heywood, N. A. Burges and D. H. Valentine  
(Editors), 1980, Flora Europaea.
Volume 5. Alismataceae to Orchidaceae (Monocotyledones), Cambridge  
University Press.

Before I was a PBS member, there was an article in The Bulb Garden  
which describes the Italian Gladiolus species.
A draft of that article was mailed to me this morning and this clears  
up the matter.
Angelo Porcelli writes about how the seeds of G. italicus are unique  
in that they are not winged. I will have to wait to see seeds.
Comparing my corms to his, I would lean toward G. italicus. And he  
writes that G. italicus is a prolific offsetter, which mine are.
The middle tepals of mine do not overlap the top and bottom tepals,  
which indicates G. italicus over G. communis.

I am going to label mine as Gladiolus cf. italicus (cf loosely means  
"best guess"). Thank you PBS for good info, as usual.

- Gastil

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